Lonely Planet Writer

France’s famous wine marathon is open for registration

Travellers heading to France are usually visiting the country for its amazing food, wine and culture, rather than to get a good workout. But each year there’s a chance to combine them all at the Marathon du Médoc.

Athletes dresses in colourful skirts run past Medoc’s vineyards, near Pauillac,. Image by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images

The annual marathon, held each fall, is unique in that it involves thousands of runners crossing the countryside of Bordeaux – and stopping for more than 20 glasses of wine along the way. While taking in more than 20 drinks sounds more like a hostel-led pub crawl than a French marathon, this event allow the runners sample glasses of fine wine and local French delicacies – all while passing the vineyards and châteaux of the legendary wine region.

The incredible marathon combines wine, food and running. Image by AMCM/Mainguy/De Tienda

If the oysters, steak and cheese available on race day is not enough to pique the interest of food-loving runners, the night before the marathon involves some epic carbo-loading as participants can head to pasta parties in preparation.

If that’s not enough, the marathon also requires that runners dress up in costume. Each year has a theme and this year it is ‘superheroes’ – something you just might have to be if you want to finish under the six-and-a-half hour time limit. Luckily the marathon is also famous for its relaxed approach to running times, allow participants to enjoy the experience rather than try and reach their personal best time.

Runners take part in the annual marathon. Image by AMCM/Mainguy/De Tienda

The registration is limited to 8500 people, so if this sounds just wild enough to be your perfect holiday activity, you may want to act fast. This year’s marathon takes place on 7 September. Find out more and register online.