“Marathon Man” redefined…the French Paradox in action!


The 28th annual Marathon du Médoc was held today on the left bank of the Bordeaux Wine Region of France.  It attracts over 8000 entrants from more than 50 countries and always occurs on the second Saturday of September, during the harvest season.

Beginning and ending in Pauillac, the marathon route winds through St-Julien, St Estephe, Médoc and Haut Médoc, and into some of the most prestigious châteaux in the world…Lafite Rothschild, Mouton Rothschild, Pichon-Longville, Lynch-Bages, Latour, etc.

Château Pichon-Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac

But, this is no ordinary marathon! Every year’s event has a different theme, with 2012’s being “The Medoc Marathon Throughout History”.  A high percentage of participants dress in crazy costumes, ready to enjoy great French wine and cuisine like foie gras, oysters, and entrecote (steak) at dozens of food stations and over 30 châteaux along the way. Yes, Bordeaux wine is the drink of choice in this marathon!  (and yes, water is offered too!)

This event is undeniably the French Paradox in action. In you are not familiar with this term, the French Paradox is the counterintuitive idea that the French diet, despite its high fat content, can actually result in improved cardiovascular health. Red wine was thought to be part of the reason for this phenomenon, although this theory appears to have been somewhat discounted. Don’t tell that to the marathon participants!

To read more about the French Paradox, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_paradox.

There were also many serious runners who obviously didn’t imbibe, as Thierry Guibault of Avensan, France, came in first with a time of just over 2:28! On the other hand, many others, who spent time enjoying the goodies along the way, took over  6 and 7 hours to finish the “course”.

A full day and evening of festivities added to this unique event, culminating with late night fireworks.

I think now is a great time to begin “training” for 2013! Are you in?

Until next time, à votre santé!

Photos by Christine Humphrey ©2012


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  • Steve Hagata
    8 September, 2012 at 16:31

    Great pic od Pichon-Lalande. Have been in that very same spot-Over your left shoulder, amongst the vines is Latour.
    Would love to participate in the Marathon. My ‘time’ would be more in the 6+ hour range.

    • Christine Humphrey
      8 September, 2012 at 16:55

      Thank you. I was there in 2009. I would definitely be imbibing and eating along the way! 40k is a long way!