Shanghai Running Magazine Volume 3 - Page 28

Medoc Marathon by Dave Dudek M EDOC – this 5 letter name is infamous in Europe and conjures up horror and fear in skilled marathoners. This is not for a run for faint of heart or weak liver and Kenyans don’t even try and compete. I first heard about this marathon whose start/finish is hosted in Pauillac Southern France near Bordeaux on one of my Wednesday 630am runs in the French Concession from my Frog (French) running buddies. Their vivid description of this unique marathon convinced me that I had to add this to my bucket list. The marathon this year was held on Saturday 13 September which was also the 30th anniversary of this special event. As I now live in Amsterdam I thought this year would be a great year to join and I had mentioned it to quite a few friends who 15 were more than happy for me to organize (including 5 from Shanghai). On their website they let about 4,000 people register in separate attempts ie they tell you 1st open registration will be in February and you check each day to see if it opens up. The 1st registration opened and sold out so fast I didn’t even have a chance to register. Then they had a 2nd registration in March and it sold out and then the 3rd attempt in April I enlisted friends waiting for it to open and again sold out in minutes and my group of 15 had zero entries. After some research I found you can get a package deal including overpriced hotels, bibs and bus to/from the start from Bordeaux. I was then able to register my team of 15 (though the registration was a bit painful – we even had to get signed by doctor certificates of health). had quite a diverse group. This is a costume run and the theme this year was “Carnivals of the World” so trying to save some costs I came up with a brilliant idea to source group costumes of the German Cologne Carnival at the Shanghai South Bund Spinning Fabric Market. Unfortunately most of the group ordered their costumes only a week before the run and when the gweilo went to pick them up on way to Airport they were not ready. So the day before the race in Bordeaux we scrambled and were lucky to find a costume shop and we bought a hodge podge of costumes. On race day morning the bus picked up our group right in front of the hotel at 6am. As we boarded the bus I could see this was going to be an exceptionally fun day. Everyone I earlier mentioned this marathon is not for the faint of heart or weak liver as this is the world longest wine tasting in costume party. You are given 6.5 hours to complete 42.195 km which includes 22 wine stops through some of the most fabulous châteaux I have ever seen. My Mob of 15 included 5 shanghaiers (all gweilo – well one was mixed ie a KBC – Kiwi Born Chinese) few Septics, a Honky, a Pogue, a Gaúchos, a cheesehead , a Springbok, a few Germans and another Kiwi so we on the bus was in costume and not simple cheap ones we had. Aussies with surf boards, Japanese in Ninja and Geisha outfits and many other fantastic outfits. You didn’t see any stress on these runners they were here to party. We lined up as a group with about 12K other ‘runners’ which was a carnival like atmosphere at the start. There were Brazilian Girls on stages around the starting row dancing Samba. I couldn’t believe some of the costumes; there were Chinese 28 © Shanghai Running 2014