Battu par un canard! [Beaten
by a duck!]
written when copmletey sober by Andrew Patience
Inspired by the legendary 100 pints in 100 hours
exploits by members of rival hill running club, we thought it was
high time Carnethy put down an albeit more civilised marker. Le
Marathon du Medoc (http://www.marathondumedoc.com/)
is billed as LE Plus long du monde and so it turned out to be for
a couple of Carnethy's rare but renowned drinkers.
The race takes competitors on an odyssey through
some or Bordeaux's most scenic and renowned Medoc chateaux with
23 wine degustation en route and culminating in a 4 course "meal" in
the final few kms with oysters, entrecote, cheese and ice-cream.
As both of us had trained pretty hard for half of this event and
one of us had trained hard for all of it, we thought putting it
all together would be easy.
The day began cool but quickly warmed up even
before the start when the 8000 odd runners left the country and
western warm up band behind in the small but world famous village
of Paulliac just north of Bordeaux. After several km and just as
we were beginning to wonder if the organisers had forgotten the "refreshments" we
came round a corner and immediately stopped in front of the first
huge degustation table with endless glasses of fine Medoc lined
up. None of our contemporaries in the race stopped which was a mystery
to us and we promptly attained celebrity status being hailed as "Les
Premiers.[to drink].....incroyable!" with photos taken with
the Chateaux folks. Whatever happened now this made our day as we
at least had won the wine race!
The 10kms and degustations went by and we were
on for a respectable finishing time if not running style until about
32km (13 tastings) where the rails absolutely came off as far as
I was concerned. I jogged/walked/staggered the last few kms to clock
4:36 and left Garry to sprint it to dip just under the 4 hour mark.
Maybe he had been doing some secret wine training or maybe it was
that I hadn't done any long runs whatsoever in the last few years.
Despite now being the proud owner of perhaps the
most absurd marathon PB (as this was my first official marathon
distance), I think both Garry and myself are even prouder being
soundly beaten by countless ducks and cowboys not to mention the
odd Mozart and “see-you-Jimmy”.
Can't recommend it enough as a race
and I think Carnethy should get into "Training" for next
year as soon possible.
Course: hilly, 50/50 trails/road
Atmosphere: very convivial
Water stops: very refined!