Back in February when I said to my husband, ‘Do you fancy running a marathon,’ I had no concept of how life changing training for a marathon would be. Fast forward to September, I’ve lost 23lbs and many inches, tried various horrible tasting power gels, ran hundreds of miles and become best friend’s with the Nike run website. But all the training was to be in vain when two weeks before the 28th Marathon du Medoc I injured my knee and despite desperate visits to the physio, my marathon dreams were over. My husband, a long time runner, decided he would still take part and so we headed to Pauillac for what we had dubbed the ‘party marathon’.
The event is spread over three days, starting with enrolment and a pasta party on the Friday night, Marathon and fireworks on the Saturday and recovery walk on the Sunday. On the big day the atmosphere was incredible. The organisers encourage fancy dress and this year’s theme was historical characters and there was everyone from cavemen to Roman legionnaires to Napoleon (in many in different shapes and sizes). And then there were those that decided to try something a little different – nothing but a mankini or the troupe of all male Playboy bunnies – neither were pretty from behind! The marathon was started by two fighter jets flying over the start line- very cool!
Although I couldn’t partake in the marathon, I decided that I would walk the first kilometre just so I could say I had done it, but I took a wrong turn and ended up at the 25km sign, from there I walked to the 26km marker and Château Lafite Rothschild. And as it was so hot (35°c) I decided to stay there in the shade of the tree lined entrance and cheer everyone on.
The people of Pauillac really get into the spirit of things – they bring out food, drink and wine for the runners and there are bands and musicians playing in the villages that are on the marathon route. This is all alongside the tastings and entertainment that are offered at each of the Château. Lafite Rothschild had a three piece band singing Beatles songs in a mixture of French and English. And don’t forget the oysters, steak, cheese and ice-cream that are on offer towards the end of the marathon!
Gerry finished in an amazing 5hrs 17mins and even managed a ‘Mo-bot’ and sprint finish – I was too hot and bothered just watching.
The next day we headed to Macau and Château Cantemerle for the 9km recovery walk through the vineyards – and more wine tastings, entertainment and food! Thankfully it was a bit cooler.
In all we had a wonderful time, tried some wonderful wine and met some wonderful people. Gerry already wants to go back again next year; the theme is sci-fi so I can see lots of storm troopers and Princess Leia’s. If you want to take part, registration starts in February 2013 – www.marathondumedoc.com
We would also like to say a huge thank you to every one who sponsored us – Gerry rasied money for Médecins Sans Frontières http://www.msf.org.uk/ and I raised money for Cancer Research UK http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/home/.