There’s Now a Marathon in France Where Runners Fuel Up with Wine and Cheese

Now THIS is an “Amazing Race.”

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If someone just told you there was a country that hosted a marathon featuring hydrating stations stocked with wine and cheese, you’d guess France, right?

Right. It could be anywhere, of course, but yeah, France hosts the Marathon du Médoc each summer and it’s all about enjoying good wine and cheese along with running an epic race.

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It happens in Bordeaux, which probably makes the wine part self-explanatory, given that region is so closely identified by name with some of the finest wine in the world.

The Marathon du Médoc is about “wine, sports, fun and health,” and as the Guardian reported in 2014, it “seems to actively encourage anything that’s normally discouraged in running.” And honestly, doesn’t that sound like the best kind of marathon?

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The 26.2 mile route winds through vineyards, and runners are required to wear costumes. Along the way they are also encouraged to sample more than 20 different wines and load up on calories found in unconventional fuel like oysters, cheese, steak, and ice cream.

It sounds like an idyllic marathon no matter what. This is the southwestern corner of France, where the scenery and the weather are often ideal, and runners have six hours and thirty minutes to finish, which sounds like plenty of time for the average marathoner — depending, that is, on how much they sample along the way. 

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The thing about using wine and rich food like French cheeses and ice cream to keep yourself moving is it actually makes a ton of sense, silly as it may sound — Ultramarathon (30 miles or more) runners frequently do crazy stuff like consume entire pizzas on the run. Slamming oysters, brie and a full cup of Bordeaux while running a simple marathon through Bordeaux actually sounds healthy by comparison. 

In long-distance running, calorie-counting goes out the door. 

If you’re feeling like an active trip to France come September and want to do the Marathon du Médoc, it’s too late for 2019 — almost. While registration is indeed closed, there is a waiting list.

Otherwise you will have to wait till 2020. In the meantime, you can still tank up on all the wine and cheese you like, because who really needs an excuse for that?