Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Marathon des Chateaux du Medoc....What a race!!

Chateau Pichon-Longueville

Pay attention all you runners out there!!  (and even if you are not a runner, this event is not to be missed!).  Last Saturday, the girls and I headed up to the Marathon des Chateaux du Medoc.  Yes, it's a real marathon whose route winds through some of the most beautiful wine country and chateaux in the world.  The 26.2 miles pass through about 59 vineyards situated in the beautiful charming towns of the Medoc-Bordeaux region.  But there are a few unique features to this marathon...

The first unique feature is that this race is a costumed race where runners dress up appropriate to the theme of the year.  This year the theme was Science fiction.  As you can see from the photos, anything one could think of relating to science fiction, super heros, space travel, aliens was covered.  The participants in this race take this part very seriously!  It's definitely part of the fun!

Caped Crusaders & Aliens

Yes, this guy was actually a runner - God bless him!
It was a cloudy, rainy morning, & I didn't feel like braving huge masses at the starting line - so we choose to arrive in Pauillac late morning. Luckily the weather also improved! We got very lucky to find parking on the outskirts of town and walked in to catch many runners hitting the half way mark as they ran through Pauillac headed North to complete the second half of the race.

Aviatar, Trekkies & a Cavewoman?

Pirates of the Caribbbean.

COLA Construction workers

Running with their space ship!

Even Aliens have a space ship too!
We kept moving along the streets - finding our way through Pauillac.  The end of the race was located on the Eastern side of Pauillac along the Garonne River.  We wanted  to evenually make it over there.
French Supermen!

More Avitar, Wonder Woman and school girls?

Mr. Incredible, Superman & various others.

The second unique feature of this race is the drink stations - At this race, one is asked if they want "Red or White?" that is!  Essentially this marathon is run between all of these chateaux or wineries and the participants get to taste each special blend.  It's a giant tasting party, with some excercise built in! In addition to the degustation of the wine, local food can also be sampled by the runners along the route- there are cheese, meats, oysters, ham, all the local specialties  Just imagine how picturesque and beautiful this course could be, running and jogging through gorgeous vineyards, enjoying the rolling landscape, being able to view some of the most beautiful Chateaux in France. If you are a runner, this marathon is definitely one to check out.  (Almost makes me want to take up running!)

The more traditional part of the water station at Chateaux Rose-Paulliac

The more interesting part of the stop

Red wine anyone?

Love the wine in one hand and the water bottle in the other!

One of the ghostbusters modeling his lovely glass!
We found our way over to the river and stopped less than a 1/4 mile from the finish line.  It was the last curve as the runners entered back into the town.  We grabbed some sandwichs of saussison, fries and drink and proceeded to watch the runners hit the final stretch - looking a lot more tired now.
Roadside lunch

Almost there....
My younger girls decided to give high "5's" to the runners and cheer them on to the finish!  It was nice to see so many runners interact with the kids!  After eating and watching for awhile - we walked on down to view the finish line.

Little green men do exist!

The beginning of the finish line
This is a very international run - it is limited to 8500 runners.  Listening to the announcer at the finish line - both French and English were spoken.  We saw runners sporting flags indicating their nationality - French, British, USA, Spain, Italy & many more - I'm sure the runners came from all over!  I loved this house near the finish line..they definitely embraced the international sense of this race!

Decorated to support!

More International flavor!
At the finish line, I was able to congratulate several runners.  It was a delight to speak with fellow Americans.  Several of them had never run this race before, but said it was one of the most fun races they had ever done!
2 American runners

Marathons are not for the weak, they are for the hard-core runner - after all 26.2 miles is quite long.  I mean let's look at that distance for a moment.  If one was driving a car at 55 mph, that mean it would take 30 minutes to arrive at your destination.  30 minutes of sitting in a car, letting your engine drive you there.  But imagine if you were the one burning the energy - a person causally can walk a 20 min. mile.  If one was to walk this  - 524 minutes - or between 8 and 9 hours to complete.  If you were to begin at 9 am  - you wouldn't be done until 5-6 pm and that's without stopping! 

So imagine running this length, and then imagine stopping to enjoy some of the local fare and of course, the wine!  Yes, the wine - and now you can see why this marathon has been dubbed "The Longest Marathon in the World!"
Love the Poster!

Downtown Pauillac

Even some of the spectators got into the fun spirit!  Love the squirt gun!
The girls and I thoroughly enjoyed watching this marathon.  It was a little bit like watching a parade!  Downtown Pauillac is also a beautiful town, located right along the Garonne River.  They have a nice port and are in the process of renovating their riverside into some parks and gardens.  When the work is completed this waterfront will be stunning!

Girls enjoyed some time on the playground near the waterfront

A lot of fun! 

Love the totem at one of the roundabouts near St. Julien
As we drove back home, it was such a pleasure to enjoy the rolling hills and fields of grapes.  It's almost harvest time, so the grapes are almost at peak and they are beautiful!


Investigating the grapes!

Don't they look delicious?

Almost harvest time!
One final note, since we were up in the Medoc , I know a very special store in Margaux, that is a "must" visit.  It's my favorite chocolate store!!  Of course, we stopped there to picked up some of their delicacies   They even let you sample before you buy!! In my opinion no visit to the Medoc region is complete without going there - I mean who can resist wine and Chocolate!! We will definitely be returning again to see this marathon...even being a spectator was a great experience!!

Chocolate from Mademoiselle de Margaux - Delicious!!


  1. I can't believe a race like this exists! That's one way to get people to run - offer them wine while they do it! Now the cheese and oysters?! I'm afraid those wouldn't be staying down during a 26 mile run. ;o) Seriously though, what a cool experience!

    1. I think there are some serious runners - but I know most do it for the whole experience.

  2. Our marathon is a Rock & Roll event - a band every mile, running up and down Las Vegas Boulevard past the big casinos and through downtown (but just water, no wine). This one looks even more festive.

  3. I had the pleasure of running Marathon du Medoc this year and it was great fun, as was visiting Bordeaux. For a runner's perspective, feel free to view my blog post at

    BTW, what are those characters with the space ship - the ones in yellow with red ears, epaulets and red on their heads - called? They told us, but our French was not good enough to understand their explanation.


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