The registration is open for 2 periods in Mar on a first come first served basis. There is a huge following so tickets sell out fast. The only other way to get a bib is through packages. There are a few providers out there with varying reviews and value so do your research thoroughly.
Accommodation near the start in Pauillac is very limited so most people stay in Bordeaux. Trains run every 60 mins or so and take 60 mins. Most packages include coach transfers.
This is a Saturday. One of the problems with Marathon du Medoc was that you must pick up your bib on the night before from the Expo. The expo wasn’t that exciting; there were a few exhibitors, a bar and but limited food stands – I couldn’t find any hot food being sold. The town was close by and one could head there for restaurants. That was about 3 hours lost to collect the bib.
The start of the race was in the centre of Pauillac and there was a security search as you enter the start area. Penknives, corkscrews and glass bottles were confiscated. It was crowded at the front but relaxed, people were chatty, taking photos and just getting into the mood. Almost everyone was in fancy dress. Most conformed to the theme but a few were just random – or I couldn’t get the link. While this was going on, a band played from a platform suspended above the start line. As the start time approached, acrobats performed on swings and ropes before we were off.
It is a mass start so it a bit bumpy but no-one cared, it was all very good natured as very few people took it seriously. It was less than mile to the first ‘aid station’ where red wine was served. This slowed a few people down; for no reason other than you could drink as much as you wanted. This was the case for the all the stops which were every mile or so. Interspersed between the wine stops at similar intervals were more conventional aid stations. Water, juices, cola, cut or peeled fruit, cake, pastries, crisps, sweets – it was a buffet spread.
The route itself took runners across the undulating countryside through the villages, towns and chateaux of the region. Some of it was road, some of it was gravel track. The weather was relatively cool (about 20 deg C) for the time of year. There had been some rain in the days before and there were some light showers on the day this made for a couple of areas where it was muddy but for short stretches only. No sharp hills but a few gentle inclines.
The local support was amazing. Loads of people turn out to cheer people on or man the aid stations. Where there is no local support the camaraderie amongst the runners was superb – everyone was out to have fun.
The final few miles were along a straight flat road along the River Garonne. This probably made the last part feel longer than it was but it is along this stretch that the oysters, steak, ice cream and corn on the cob (?!?) was served. Then it’s the final mile into town and the finish. The crowds and noise here were superb and really helped you to make these last few steps.
Those finishing the marathon within 6.5 hours were awarded a themed medal, a boxed bottle of red wine and a themed holdall/bag. Ladies were also given a rose. To my disappointment men dressed as ladies did not. One very important prize is the plastic cup and lanyard – the medal gets you entry into the finishers’ tent but the cup gets you unlimited refills of beer. The finishers’ tent also contains a coffee bar and a huge buffet of more food and booze. There is music and great atmosphere – a great place to recover.
In all, great value, great fun and would do it all again in a shot.
Posted on 21.03.18
I’ve been lucky to have a place on my company team for the last three years .
Whst can I say? There’s nothing like it. The scenery is stunning the hills are brutal the wine is exquisite ,
its a requirement to run this in fancy dress. Every year the theme is different . If you don’t run in fancy dress you are the odd one out!
Goody bag and medal
Posted on 13.11.17