Marathons have stepped up their gimmick game over the last few years, effectively convincing #TeamCardi-No that running doesn’t always have to be such a serious workout. From Montclair Bread Company’s 5K Doughnut Run to AllState’s Hot Chocolate 15K, competitive cardio is now using all kinds of indulgent goodies to persuade athletes and non-athletes alike to cross the finish line — even booze. I don’t know about you, but personally, I’ll always run for food, and I’ll run even faster for rosé. So if you, too, will run for wine, the Marathon du Médoc in France sounds like quite the experience — imagine your body moving and feeling boozy, to the point where that long stretch of pavement is hardly even intimidating. That’s this French marathon in a nutshell; plus, you don’t even have to be a serious contender to sign up for this annual event. When wine’s involved, everybody wins.
The Marathon du Médoc takes place every September in Bordeaux, France, and according to the event's website, you have to be 21 years or older to join in on the fun. Participants will complete a whopping 26.2 miles over the course of roughly six and a half hours — which sounds like a lot because, well, it is. But from what I can tell, the marathon seems to be more about the booze and bites to eat along the way than it is about actually running. Similar to how a lot of marathons have hydration stations set up along the track, the Marathon du Médoc has wine-tasting stations, as well as breaks for steak, cheese, ice cream, and oyster samples to snack on, Travel + Leisure reports. Between all the food and booze, participants are, unsurprisingly, encouraged to take their time finishing the race.
Now, I know myself, and I’m definitely one of those people who prefers to do cardio fasted. See, if I eat any sort of pre-workout snack or meal that can slosh and stick to the walls of my stomach as I sprint, jump, or squat, it’s not going to end well. So, needless to say, I tend to stick to sips of water, and water only, throughout my own cardio sessions, and wait until after I’ve showered to eat or drink anything with substance. Still, I do love me a tall glass of merlot, so I might just be daring enough to sign up for the Marathon du Médoc — that is, if I lived in France, or if someone wanted to sponsor and send me to France for this momentous occasion (ahem).
But, while we're on the subject of things sloshing and sticking to the inside of my stomach, I should probably give you a fair warning that, while the Marathon du Médoc in France sounds pretty amazing, not to mention absolutely delish, you definitely want to pace yourself in any race that involves eating food and drinking alcohol en route. According to Vicky Lane, a reporter for The Guardian who actually participated in the Marathon du Médoc back in 2014, the combination of wine, cheese, and cardio doesn't exactly set everyone up for success, especially when you factor in the heat of summer's end. In fact, Lane reported that one of her running mates actually got physically sick on the trail, but the journalist also noted that even though the marathon had plenty of medics on standby, their services didn't appear to be direly necessary during the race. "Unlike in the London and Paris marathons I only saw one floored person on the entire route," Lane wrote in her article for The Guardian. "Maybe it’s because there is a less pressure to run fast - or maybe I was just too drunk to notice."
Whether you're an avid marathon runner or a novice on the track, food-centric marathons are for everyone — but you have to be aware of your limits in order to make it to the finish line feeling good. Remember to pace yourself along the way; you don't have to sacrifice sampling, but maybe just take one sip of wine instead of chugging an entire bottle down with your besties. Sip a little, snack a little, and always listen to your body. It's one thing to get to the finish line; it's another to finish feeling good, too.