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In the Marathon du Medoc, Run 26.2 Miles—While Stopping to Drink Wine Along the Way

Like running? Like wine? Why not combine the two?

Runners pass by a vineyard in France during the 2008 Marathon du Medoc (Nicholas Babaian)
smithsonian.com

If you’ve ever run a marathon and wished that the refreshment stations contained something a bit stronger than water or Gatorade—or that the snacks were just a bit more refined—then the Marathon du Medoc might just be the event for you. 

There are other wine-related running events in the world, but none quite like this. Imagine a 26.2-mile wine tasting combined with a costume party, and you’ll have something vaguely resembling the annual event, held (of course!) in France.

Competitors in this race, which winds through one of France’s best wine-making regions, drink wine at the refreshment stands and run (relatively) slowly compared to other marathons, kitted out in costumes related to the year’s theme. CNN’s Bryan Pirolli wrote about his experience competing in the event last year: 

It's not every day the Rothschild family opens up its chateau to thousands of sweaty runners, but there we were, stretching our calves, glasses in hand.

The runner's high mixed with slight inebriation and at about the 22-mile mark there was what seemed to be an obligatory dance break as we neared the home stretch.

In a bit of pain but eager to complete the last few miles, we guzzled bits of steak, ice cream and oysters with white wine (never red with oysters -- we're not animals).

Now in its 30th year, the Medoc is only open to 8,500 runners, all of whom must provide proof that they are medically able to run in a marathon. This year’s race will be held on September 13, with the theme “Countries of their world and their carnivals.” 

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