PLEASE NOTE THAT THE 2018 DATE IS PROVISIONAL AND WILL BE CONFIRMED VERY SOON
Set in the stunning Bordeaux region of France, the Marathon du Medoc course weaves through ancient villages, vibrant vineyards and alongside some of the most famous Wine makers in the region including Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Chateau Mouton Rothschild.
Not the most conventional of marathons, almost 3/4 of the participants wear fancy dress, the aid stations allow for wine and cheese and most of the prizes are in Wine.
The day is filled with various shows and entertainment in the harbour area along the quays, catering not only for runners but also for the tens of thousands of spectators.
The Marathon village near the wine-culture-centre “Maison du Vin” is also open throughout the day and offers entertainment and regional specialties. In the evening the village of Pauillac puts on a Fireworks display.
Just letting you know I had a great time at Marathon du Medoc. What a great event. It would be the best marathon I have ever done. Everyone was so happy, the day was overcast and I think about 21 degrees, perfect for running. Everything was well organised, the ladies at Le Continental in Bordeaux were so helpful. My race pack was waiting for me when I arrived at the hotel. The walk and lunch on Sunday was great, although it was a bit hard to start walking after doing the marathon the day before, but as my legs warmed up I was right. The lunch was fantastic. The French certainly know how to put on a feed. Thank you for all you help and I will definitely use Travelling Fit in the future. I am looking forward to my next adventure with Travelling Fit.
The event was truly magnificent and something you need to see to really believe. A day in my life I will hold dear forever. It is a giant, extravagant, generous, party. The way the whole town gets involved is amazing. The Travelling Fit team were amazing. Travelling Fit provides a service and care that I have not seen from another business, ever. It was surprising, refreshing and we will be back for more!!
Travelling Fit staff went beyond their call of duty to help and assist everyone. Their organisational skills and support were first class. I loved every minute I was in Bordeaux, mixing with the Travelling Fit runners and staff. One of my top 5 running experience. May do it again soon. Thank you so much for making my dream come true, keep up the excellent work.
Thank you for a great Marathon Medoc. We loved every minute and never thought a marathon could be so much fun. It was wonderful not worrying about time for once in our life! Usually a marathon is 42km of pain - but before there was any pain during Medoc we stopped and had a wine, cheese, oyster, steak or ice cream. Absolutely perfect! It is impossible for you to improve - you do everything so well. Just keep it up. We are your biggest fans.
Flights and Additional Travel
Travelling Fit is a fully accredited travel agency which offers a full range of services to our clients. This enables us to book your flights and additional touring to help us assist you in creating your perfect holiday experience.
The entry fee for the Marathon du Medoc is included in the price of your package.
In accordance with French law all runners are required to produce proof of their fitness to participate in running competitions in the form of a medical certificate issued by a doctor following a medical examination.
There are no qualifying times for this event but all entrants must be born prior to 8th September 1997 to enter the race.
The Marathon du Medoc starts at 9:30am.
There is a 6h30m cut-off time for the Marathon du Medoc.
There is a sweeper marking the “back of the pack” and all runners who fall behind the sweeper are automatically eliminated from the race
Time keeping will be done by an electronic chip embedded in your running bib.
Race packs will be delivered to the hotel you have chosen from one of the Travelling Fit packages
There are no official pace setters at the Marathon du Medoc.
There are drink stations every 2 to 3 kilometers, as well as over 20 wine tasting stands, special events and also various food points (oysters, entrecote steak, cheese and other delicacies).
Medical assistance will be provided in First Aid tents as well as by mobile first aid units.
Personal Refreshments and Clothing
There is no facility to take personal refreshments out on the course.
All transportation to and from the various events will be included as part of your Travelling Fit marathon package, including a private coach to/from the event on race day for all runners and spectators.
There will be an Expo held on Friday 8th September at the COSEC in Pauillac from 10am till 11pm. A complimentary shuttle is available from Bordeaux.
NOTE: The race packs will delivered to you at your hotel so there is no requirement for you to attend the expo.
Finishers T-shirts, Medals and Certificates
All finishers will receive a bottle of wine on completion of the Marathon, as well as a medal, sports bag and numerous other gifts.
The average September temperature in Medoc is 25 degrees Celsius.
Friday 8 September Pasta Party at Chateau LAMOTHE-CISSAC (venue to be confirmed)
Sunday 10 September 10km vineyard walk including lunch (this is included in your Travelling Fit Marathon package ).
Marathon Du Medoc: The Worlds Booziest MarathonMy last night in Paris; I anxiously packed all my bags & jumped into bed. I had been travelling solo for 5 days now & being my first time travelling overseas it had been such a thrill ...
My last night in Paris; I anxiously packed all my bags & jumped into bed. I had been travelling solo for 5 days now & being my first time travelling overseas it had been such a thrill navigating my way through foreign countries some 17,000kms from home, yet an even bigger challenge lay ahead… I was about to run my very first full marathon the Marathon Du Medoc.
The alarm went off the next morning I sprung out of bed, got dressed, swung my 30kg pack on my back (yes rookie mistake packed way too much) & hiked it to the Gare Du Norde train station to catch the Euro Star to Bordeaux. The Eurostar was comfortable & super fast… I gazed out the window in wonder watching the changing landscapes & architecture as we sped closer to the south of France. I arrived at Bordeaux station 3 hours later & utilising some dodgy French managed to hail a cab & arrive safely at the gorgeous Hotel Continental. I checked in, met my room mate Bronwyn who was also running the Marathon Du Medoc & inspected the room. Stepping out onto the balcony to take in the view I immediately fell in love with Bordeaux, what a beautifully charming city. The elegant Hotel Continental is a 18th-century townhouse set in Bordeaux’s Golden Triangle just a short stroll from Opéra National de Bordeaux & Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux. It was a very welcomed change from the backpacker style accommodation I had become accustomed to.
Both exhausted from our travels Bronwyn & I had a quick “power nap” before heading out to meet the rest of the Travelling Fit crew for a marathon eve “Pasta Party”. In true French style the drinking starts the night before the race, at various “Pasta Parties” hosted through out Bordeaux. We joined the Travelling Fit crew for dinner by the river & fuelled our bodies with French pizza, pasta & copious amounts of magnificent red wine. A late night with an exuberant amount of wine is not the usual plan on race eve, but, when in France ??
To run any marathon for the first time is a great life experience in itself but the Marathon Du Medoc with its 42.2 km course through some of the world’s most famous vineyards including the infamous Château Lafite Rothschild in Bordeaux France, made this a truly unforgettable experience. Not to mention it’s the craziest marathon on earth! Rather than the usual water stops, there are over 23 wine stations hosted by different châteaus and there is even compulsory fancy dress! That’s right a marathon that requires you to wear fancy dress (It’s Medoc law) drink copious amount of wine en route while tasting French delicacies including steak, croissants, oysters & ice cream! I almost couldn’t sleep I was so excited! I lay my race kit out, tiara, sparkles & all & finally jumped into bed sometime after 1.30am.
The morning of the race we got into to Pauillac around 8.30am making our way to the race line for a 9.30am start. Standing at the start zone with the Traveling Fit crew the atmosphere was unlike any other event I had ever experienced with over 8,000 people all of who were in fancy dress (The theme this year was dress to the nines) including a great number of men dressed in fishnets, ha! I heard a mixture of French, German, Japanese & American accents flowing around me but no matter what language you spoke everyone shared the same universal silly grin.
As I sit down & recall the event I am finding it hard to put in all in words because the experience of my trip & running my first marathon feels so surreal. The range of emotions that I experienced was so deep & vast however, I will try my best but be warned it’s going to be a long one… Here I was, in Bordeaux, France, on the other side of the world lining up to run my very first marathon. I had never run a full marathon distance before, 35kms had been my longest run. I don’t know if it was the jet lag, my slight hang over or just the fact that I was so absorbed in the energy & craziness of the crowd, I some how forgot the massive task ahead of me feeling pure energy & excitement as I watched people around me laughing, cheering & singing.
The entertainment at the start line was mesmorising, a giant silver ball suspended over the start line dangling acrobats on aerial silks twirling above the crowd to the tunes of Michael Bublé’s “Feeling Good” which crooned through the massive sound system, a MC then came on speaking French, I couldn’t fully understand what he was saying however recognising some numbers “trios, deux, un” & as quickly as I made the connection that it was a count down a large horn sounded & we were off.
The start was slow going & a little congested for the first couple of km’s but that was ok, this Marathon isn’t about getting a good time – it’s about having a good time & I wanted the “full Medoc experience” The official cut off time is 6 hours 30 (if you don’t make the cut off you don’t get a medal, eekk!), having been informed by Medoc Veterans since arriving: “The ideal finish time for those who are serious about the event is 6:29:59! No sooner” (You have A LOT of wine to drink after all)
We ran through the gorgeous vineyards of Bordeaux arriving at the breakfast stop around the 2k mark where tables of mini croissants, waffles, chocolate pastries & fruit awaited us. I had originally planned to use my gels (because that is what I had trained with) but, in the spirit of the Marathon Du Medoc “The Wine Marathon” I threw them away embracing the whole uniquely crazy experience by grabbing a mini croissant a bite of a waffle & ran on. Oh my those waffles were something special!
Another 5 minutes in I came across the first ‘official degustation’ at the Chateau-Lafite Rothschild (we had already stopped at an “unofficial wine stop” perviously, so the “23 stops” actually ends up being around 30 by the end of the marathon with all the unofficial stops included) The Chateau-Lafite Rothschild was the Chateau I was looking forward to the most! I took my glass of wine gave it a swirl, positioned it under my nose, closed my eyes took a deep breath inhaling the aromas, picking up notes of coffee, spice & cedar then holding my glass up to the light marvelled at the beautiful deep ruby / purplish colour. I watched the other runner’s downing their wine, some devouring two glasses before speeding off, nervously I followed suit, took a swig savouring the silky smooth elegance of what I guessed to be a Cab.Sauvignon blend & before the wine had even had time to hit my belly I was on the road again, funnily enough the band kicked into the last chorus of “back on the road again” as I took off, smiling at the serendipity of the moment I joined in on the chorus singing as I ran on.
In all my nervous haste I hadn’t noted the name of the wine I tasted, NO!!!!! oh well, it would remain a tantalising mystery to which the name does not really matter, as in the words of Maréchal de Richelieu “I have discovered the wine of Château Lafite to be a delicious, generous cordial, comparable to the ambrosia of the Gods of Olympus” (1755)
I arrived at the 5km marker feeling good, knocked back another wine & ran on. The wine stations came thick and fast for the first 10kms, it was really quite a surreal experience drinking wine whilst running, what was technically, a marathon. Then all of the sudden… it hit me! I needed to pee, but wait. I hadn’t seen any toilets yet! Oh no! What if there are no toilets??? How can they have no toilets!!?? I looked around in a panic scanning the rolling hills & vineyards for a portaloo & then it dawned on me…. Ohhhhhhh thats why everyone is sneaking off into the vineyards. Just as I was about to admit defeat & go “al a natural” I found a port a loo, Phew. I jumped in the cue but the line was so LOOOOONG, I would find out later on that it was indeed the ONLY solitary toilet on the whole course. I waited in line for 15 minutes & thought to myself I was missing out on valuable wine tasting time & worried about the cut off time, so aborted the line up & snuck off into the fields (but shhh let’s just keep this our little secret)
Feeling relived & a little amused I ran back on course having a little giggle to myself, realising I was a tad drunk by the time the rain hit & it was coming down hard! The temperature was around 25 C, the humidity was thick & I was drenched in sweat, I welcomed the rain as it brought with it cooler temps & washed away the caked on salt. My smile turned into a slight frown of concern as I pondered the fact that this was a marathon & I still had a heck of a long way to go! My soaking wet shoes squelching as I ran through the windy gravel path over the cobble stones, through mini creek crossings & washed out roads. My ankles were feeling quite tender as I had only ever ran “road races” & trained on road or flat gravel, my body wasn’t accustomed to the uneven terrain.
Around the half way mark the wine was sloshing around my tummy making me feel a little queazy, this was the the long stretch of road in the middle of the course with no wine stops. Medic vans scream by us on the way to rescue runners who were not fairing so well. I was luckily enough to have Erin, a girl from the Travelling Fit crew running beside me at this point & some friendly banter helped me shake off the queasiness, coming good just in time as we entered into the second half which greeted us with more châteaus, delicious red wine & entertainment! The rain was still coming down hard so we decided to grab some shelter at the next Chateau, spotting another member of the Travelling Fit crew with the same idea, we joined her chatting excitedly about our adventures while taking in the atmosphere, watching the band & enjoying a couple extra cheeky reds. After a
After the sky’s cleared the colours of the landscape seemed even more vibrant than before, the sunlight danced off the glistening green leaves & deep purple velvety grapes. Running through these gorgeous vineyards & enchanting little medieval villages gave me the sense of being suddenly transported into a romantic French impressionist painting or the pages of a eloquent old world, Wordsworth poem. It was just one of those moments you know will stay etched in your memory for ever. I took in a deep breath absorbing this glorious moment feeling utterly blessed! The romance of that moment was abruptly interrupted as we ran up behind a guy running in a g-string. My attention then fell to his almost mesmerizing hairy but cheeks bouncing up & down, all I could think was gosh that is going to be some uncomfortable chafing. We overlook the cheeky french man with a smile & ran on.
More stops followed, at km 18 and 20. I started drinking water with my wine but was also mindful of the lack of toilets on the course! As we came up to km 30 fatigue began to creep in as the gravity of running a marathon fuelled by wine & cheese hit me, by the time I’d ‘hit the wall’, I was nursing a hangover, suffering a severe carbohydrate deficit & fending off dehydration. My quads & glutes felt like a tightly stretched rope that was about the snap at any minute.
But with a band playing at every turn, the great support & huge smiles from the crowds, high fives & sassy comments from fellow runners, the gorgeous scenery including enchanting chateaus that looked like castles from a fairy-tale book I easily found that little bit extra inspiration I needed to carry on. “Just one foot in front of the other, keep going, don’t stop, can you believe it… your running in France, this is amazing! you can do it!” I chanted to myself.
I hit the 36km mark & threw my arms up in celebration, well, in reality it was actually more like a limp flailing of the arms… This was new distance PB! After struggling up a huge hill shortly after Erin & I managed to get into a decent rhythm for the last couple of kms, crossing the finish line together in 6:29:16. Couldn’t have timed it better! We were presented with a medal in the shape of a bow tie… cute!, a splendid commemorative satchel, a souvenir bottle of wine & piece de resistance… a wine cup with a holder that goes around your neck (that one has come in very handy!)
I made it!! It’s impressive to survive running a marathon whilst sampling wines from some 23 chateaus plus the “unofficial wine stops” but to have been able to experience all that & still have made the cut off time, was an amazing feeling! This was my first marathon & it was perfectly on time, Marathon Du Medoc time that is! The veterans would be so proud!
It had been a long day, I could no longer feel my legs & was unsure if they would ever work properly again & yet, undeniably, I’ve managed to have one of the most bizarre & brilliant experiences of my life on this this glorious day of Sunday 12th, of September, 2015, in Bordeaux France. The day I became a marathoner.
So for my first ever marathon, I broke all the rules… Stay hydrated, nothing new on race day, avoid alcohol, get a good nights sleep, eat a balanced breakfast & make sure you’ve trained in your race kit. Pretty simple right? Not when you are running the worlds craziest marathon! And to be honest I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
It was then back on the bus to celebrate, with you guessed it, more wine! We had a glorious night out in charming Bordeaux; sharing food, wine, stories & laughs. We must have been running on pure excitement because to my surprise we didn’t get to bed till 2am that morning, what a day!
Renne has a great running blog. Please check it out at Running with Renee
Marathon du Medoc Race ReviewMost marathons I have completed I can’t wait to finish. Usually my pre-race plan has gone out the window and I’m hanging on trying to save some dignity for the finish. However the Marathon du ...
Most marathons I have completed I can’t wait to finish. Usually my pre-race plan has gone out the window and I’m hanging on trying to save some dignity for the finish. However the Marathon du Medoc, held in Paulliac, one hour north of Bordeaux, France, is not a normal marathon and is more like a wine tasting costume carnival that I wanted to go on forever. The international run has been held in early September for the past twenty nine years and the costumes have a theme each year, with the 2013 theme being ‘science fiction.’ I have had a previous flirtation with the event in 2010 when the theme was ‘Superheroes’ and I had made it to Paris with my un-original Superman outfit. After having paid the entry fee and accommodation in Bordeaux I had to return to Australia for a funeral after my 93 year old father had peacefully passed away. Consequently I felt the Medoc was unfinished business and by good fortune 2013 was my time.
Most days of our lives usually pass uneventfully, with one day being pretty much like the other and we hope to move through life peacefully and enjoyably, if possible. But there are rare days when you don’t want them to end and you feel as though you are experiencing life with such intensity you need time to process what you have been through. I have run the Comrades 89k ‘Marathon’ in South Africa twice along with the Two Oceans 56k ‘Marathon’ and put the Marathon du Medoc right up there with them. As I am a runner I’m purposely ignoring all the other amazing experiences life throws up and expect that other runners reading this will agree that we share an activity that releases us from the banality of everyday life.
The day begins in Bordeaux by rising at 5.30am for a 6.30am transfer bus to Paulliac, with the sun rising as busloads of costumed runners excitedly try and imagine the day ahead. Although the run begins at 9.30am and our bus arrived at Paulliac around 7.45am, the time flew until lining up with the other runners at 9am. Everyone is checking out everyone else’s costume, with approximately eighty percent of the field of eight thousand dressed for a party rather than a marathon. Although the theme for 2013 was science fiction, with plenty of Star Wars, Star Trek, Green Men (and Women), Avatars and just general Aliens, such as myself, there were a number of French Maids (Japanese men in particular), Superheroes (left over from 2010?), Village People Construction Workers and Pirates. Some of the Green Men were wheeling flying saucers, Trekkies were wheeling the Starship Enterprise and the pirates had their own ship.
The start area was buzzing with anticipation. Runners looking anything but were packed along a street front and being entertained by acrobats swirling about above our heads on trapezes that were attached to large balloons. The announcer was revving up the crowd with chants that I couldn’t understand (it was in French, after all) and people would spontaneously burst into songs followed by applause.
That half hour will go down as the best pre-race buzz I’ve ever experienced. Everyone is taking photos of each other, pointing to something/someone whose costume they think is amazing and wearing the biggest smiles I have ever seen prior to an event.
Once the run was underway I found it hard to imagine that my fellow runners in elaborate costumes and make-up intended running a full 42k marathon. One of the incentives to keep going was the anticipation of wine tasting when passing through the forty or so Chateaux throughout the figure eight course. The run took place through dirt roads beside vineyards, some bitumen, loose stone pathways leading into each Chateau and through small villages where the locals hung out of their windows and the kids lined up for high-fives. Bands were playing in most Chateaux as well as along the course and after the initial scramble for the first taste of wine for the day at the 2k mark, things settled down when we realised there was plenty of wine to go around. My wine tasting race plan was to swirl and spit, but after my first attempt at this strategy I was left with too strong a taste in my mouth. Consequently I began a series of one mouthful here two mouthfuls there until I was feeling quite relaxed by the half-way mark. Some Chateaux proved very popular, with Flash Gordons and Aliens jostling for a taste at Chateau Lafite Rothschild (26k mark).
There was a lake at one Chateau after half-way and some runners had peeled off their costumes for a quick swim. Speaking of peeling off costumes, I noticed people struggling to de-robe from more elaborate outfits to irrigate the vineyards – toilets only being available when you reached a Chateau. The highlight for me among many was the last 4k of the course, which was a long straight stretch to the finish beside an estuary. Runners were treated to freshly shucked oysters, champagne, entrecote cut into small pieces and cognac (I can’t believe I missed the cognac stand – just what you need at the 40k mark of a marathon). Approaching the finish everyone received a stick of ice cream after checking their costumes in a strategically placed mirror in the middle of the road. I made sure my finishing photos included me sucking on my iceblock, as that image summarised what was the theme of the day – running for enjoyment. All finishers under 6 hours 30 mins received a medal and a bottle of red wine in a commemorative wooden case. However everyone who ran that day took away memories of an amazing experience that will last far longer than wine and trinkets.
Thanks to Travelling Fit for making it easy to participate in such a great event – a race bag was waiting at the hotel TF had selected in Bordeaux when I checked in as well as transport to and from Paulliac on race day – along with registration, of course.
TRAVELLING FIT ARE NOW ACCEPTING PRELIMINARY DEPOSITS FOR THE 2018 MARATHON DU MEDOC.
PLEASE CLICK HERE OR SCROLL DOWN TO THE “PAY PRELIMINARY DEPOSIT” LINK TO RESERVE YOUR PLACE TODAY
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE 2018 DATE IS PROVISIONAL AND WILL BE CONFIRMED VERY SOON
All details are based on the 2017 Marathon du Medoc and the prices and dates should be used as a guide only for 2018.
The Marathon du Medoc is not just an ordinary Marathon for many reasons. Set in the stunning Bordeaux region of France it meanders through ancient villages, vibrant vineyards and along gravel tracks.
Each year the event has a theme and in 2017 it is Music in 33 rpm record so expect to see music legends from The Beatles and The Rolling Stones to Elvis Presley and David Bowie competing!
Almost all participants wear fancy dress, the aid stations allow for wine and cheese tasting as well as the more customary forms of Marathon fare and most of the prizes are in Wine.
Put simply, this is one of the world’s great parties with a Marathon thrown in for good measure.
Travelling Fit is delighted to offer you a 3 Night and 5 Night Marathon Package and as an accredited travel agency we provide a full range of services to our clients. This enables us to book your flights and additional touring to help us assist you in creating your perfect holiday experience.
- 4 DAY / 3 NIGHT PACKAGE
- Guaranteed Race Entry (runners only)
- 3 Nights Accommodation
Check in: Fri 08 Sep / Check out: Mon 11 Sep 2017
- Continental Breakfast daily including early breakfast on race day
- Return private coach transfer to the Marathon Start
Exclusive to Travelling Fit clients
- Sunday Walk & Lunch through the Medoc Vineyards including transfers
- Travelling Fit Experts located at Le Normandie hotel to answer any questions
Exclusive to Travelling Fit clients
- Supporters will be looked after on race day to cheer on the runners
exclusive to Travelling Fit supporters
- Personalised Travelling Fit 2XU Running Top
Exclusive to Travelling Fit clients
- Invite to Travelling Fit VIP Facebook Group
Exclusive to Travelling Fit runners
- Service Charges & taxes
- 6 DAY / 5 NIGHT PACKAGE ALSO INCLUDES:
- 5 Nights Accommodation
Check in: Wed 06 Sep / Check out: Mon 11 Sep 2017
- Day Tour to Arcachon including Oysters, Prawns, Pate and wine (Thu)
Exclusive to Travelling Fit Clients
- Group warm up run by the river (Friday morning)
Exclusive to Travelling Fit clients
Prelim Deposit: $100
Deposit (With Prelim): $550 per runner and $350 per Supporter
Deposit (without Prelim): $650 per Runner and $350 per Supporter
Balance Due: 09 June 2017