French Wine Marathon Tests Competitors Strength of Stomach

By Jess McHugh |

© Nicolas Tucat/AFP/Getty Images

This piece originally appeared on Travel + Leisure.

Médoc, France—in the Bordeaux wine region—is preparing to host its annual wine marathon Saturday.

The event is a full-length marathon of 42 kilometers, or approximately 26.2 miles, punctuated with tastings of wine and delicacies from local vintners along the entire route.

Related: The Best Travel-Friendly Grooming Products for Men

Some 8,500 runners from 71 countries will wind through the chateaux and vineyards of this Bordeaux paradise, dressed in festive costumes for this quirky event. Each marathon has its own costume theme, and this year’s is “tales and legends.”

“This year for the first time we’re laying on a breakfast, with viennoiseries, at the third kilometer,” said a spokesman for the event.

“After that they set off again on the normal route—with tastings on the way—and then at the 37th kilometer there’s a meal with oysters, entrecote steaks, cheese and ice cream and then there’s a little surprise at the 41st kilometer. I can’t say what it will be, but it’s edible.”

Past marathons have featured 18 different wine stops along the route.

Related: 11 Phone Wallets to Make You a More Organized Traveler

The race is distinguished not only by its food offerings but also by its entertainment. Dozens of bands and other acts are scheduled to perform along the route to motivate runners, and massage stations with licensed masseuses are set up throughout the last 10 kilometers of the race for weary athletes.

While drinking and exercising may seem incompatible, the organizers insist that the event is perfectly safe.

“If you drink in moderation you finish your race with no problem,” said the spokesman.

Related: What to Pack for Your Next Surf Trip


Video Section