Running the world’s tastiest marathon

This year’s Marathon du Médoc was even more gourmand than usual, with runners stopping for breakfast after just 3km… 

31 August 2016
By Oliver Rowland

THE MARATHON du Médoc is billed as the world’s ‘longest, slowest and tastiest marathon’ and takes place among some of the most prestigious vineyeards in the world.

This year, for the 32nd annual race on Saturday September 10, some 8,500 runners from 71 countries and all the regions of France took part in a full 42km marathon running from château to château among the vines – tasting as they went.


Most of the runners in the Marathon du Médoc dress up to add to the fun, and this year there was a theme of tales and legends.


A marathon spokesman said: “This year for the first time we laid on a breakfast, with viennoiseries, at the third kilometre.


“After that they set off again on the normal route – with tastings on the way – and then at the 37th kilometre there was a meal with oysters, entrecote steaks, cheese, an ice cream and a little - edible - surprise at the 41st kilometre.”


There were also be nibbles like dried fruits along the course, he said.


The spokesman said that people do not drink to a dangerous level “because you can’t run if you are drunk”.


“If you drink in moderation you finish your race with no problem,” he said.


Around 100 people were running the marathon in a serious spirit, trying for high placings, but most were there to “have an experience that’s pretty much unique in the world, with a superb route and above all learning to run while being relaxed.


“For many it’s also a chance to complete their first marathon – a lot of beginners come to it.”


To help the runner relax better there were 54 different entertainments along the route, the spokesman said.


“There was music from classic to rock or reggae being put on at the châteaux, to help people finish their marathon without thinking of the pain too much.

“On top of that we put in place massage stations in the last 10km so those who are suffering the most can be massaged if they have cramps or anything. That helps them to recuperate well and set off again for the final leg.”

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