Battu par un canard! [Beaten by a duck!]
written when copmletey sober by Andrew Patience

100 glasses of the finest wine in 100 hours ?

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.

Organisation: superb
Scenery: excellent
Course: hilly, 50/50 trails/road
Atmosphere: very convivial
Water stops: very refined!

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