Archive for the ‘Race Report’ Category

Marathon du Medoc

Thursday, September 25th, 2008
Medoc Marathon
The Medoc Marathon is run for a FUN time, not a speed time. It’s definitely missing the point if you run this as a Boston qualifier. Its location near Bordeaux France (Pauillac, southwest corner of France) is in distinctive wine country (Merlot reds). This is well south of Paris.  This year’s marathon with about 8000 finishers…probably 90 percent in some sort of costume… started at 930am France time, (3:30am in Boston) on Saturday September 6th.The photos seen are from start to finish. Showers pelted the start with rainbows over the vineyards during the nearly 1 hour bus ride north of Bordeaux, France. Otherwise it was a partly sunny run in temperatures, probably in the 60s.

Only about 200 US citizens are permitted to run, and all US entries apparently are through tour groups. I went with Marathon Tours with the company president Thom Gilligan and his wife Sharon as guides. We had 99 in our group, with a couple – Phil and Mary Anne Hailer from L Street and myself representing the Boston area. Our group had representatives from Canada and India as well. Accommodations were good. It was a 5 day wine tasting party…arrival midday Thursday French time, departing Tuesday midday. The cash outlay was substantial — $2000 for the trip, including most meals, hotel, marathon entry, some transfers etc. Another 1000 for the rt flight: Boston-Frankfurt on a big aircraft, with regional aircraft and 4 hour layover from Frankfurt to Bordeaux. Add your expenses for purchasing wine and other gifts… So, my suggestion going over, if you do…plan to wine taste all day and evening, lots and lots of LONG bus rides into the vineyards.  

The marathon was the sweetheart for me… wine and live music at virtually every water stop (~every 2K). I sipped only at 28, 34 and 39K, enjoying raw oysters at 39K, had an ice cream given to me at 41K for the finish push and there was lots of food at tables enroute. I thought the finish food the best… though word has it, Nashville R&R Marathon and New Orleans Marathon are even better.

To open the photos, my Island Paradise theme, leis, Hawaiian shirt, and wore a grass skirt. I left the Garmin at the hotel-no need for this run. No starter mat, so if you started back you added a minute or 3 to your time. There was a clock at 20K to give you an idea of how you were doing near the halfway point. The bib had the chip in it… in this case a rectangular wiring system.The rainbow had two meanings… both a pre-race spark and pre-race reality check that there is rain around.Next the starting line, followed by a sampling of runners, band and wine stops with the finish.It was a training run for me… an expensive one. I wont go back, since I like to add a little history to these but… I am glad I got it out of my system. If you like sampling wine for 5 days… this trip may be for you! 

Click to View
Walt’s Full Photo Gallery