A Marathon of Food, Wine, and Fun 史上最「酒」馬拉松
by Daniel Howard
A marathon is one of the most challenging athletic competitions. Running for more than 42 kilometers requires a lot of training and discipline. For some people, it is the most difficult thing they will ever do. But the Marathon du Medoc—formally the Marathon des Chateaux du Medoc—motivates its runners with unexpected perks: live shows, gourmet foods, and top-tier wine.
The Marathon du Medoc is unique among marathons for its dedication to fun and local culture. The night before the race is often filled with feasting and partying; the Pasta Party is famous for being both delicious and exhausting. The fun then continues after the marathon with more food, music, dancing, and wine. There is even a ball open to all competitors and spectators followed by a fireworks show. However, that's nothing compared to the race.
Runners must compete in a costume. The theme for 2019 is superheroes, so runners are expected to dress up like Wonder Woman or Captain America. Over the course of the race, runners have the opportunity to sample local wines and produce. There are a total of 22 refreshment stands, 21 food stands, and 51 live events along the route. Local schoolchildren are also known to dress up in costumes and cheer competitors on. Runners have six and a half hours to finish the race, and unlike in most marathons, many participants choose to take a more relaxed pace. This way, they can enjoy the amazing wines from the nearby vineyards and the gourmet foods like fresh oysters and locally sourced steaks.
However, for anyone thinking that the Marathon du Medoc is just a fun walk in the country, it is worth remembering that it is still a difficult race. There are a limited number of runners allowed to participate, and each has to provide a medical certificate to show that they are able to handle the run. The health check might not say whether runners can manage all the food, dancing, and wine, but it sure sounds like fun.