In France, There’s A Marathon Where Runners Eat Cheese And Sip Wine
The first marathon ever was in honor of the Greek soldier Pheidippides who ran from a battlefield near the town of Marathon, Greece, to Athens in 490 B.C. As the story goes, Pheidippides ran approximately 25 miles to announce to the Athenians the defeat of the Persians. Aren’t you glad we have phones and cars and email addresses and Facebook and so many other ways to communicate today?
Imagine having to run over to the next town over every time you have to tell a friend something. We would be exhausted, yet in very good shape! Once he finally ran his little butt off and got to his final destination, he delivered the message, “Niki!” which means “Victory!”. He then keeled over and died. Doesn’t running a marathon sound so fun?? You may be wondering why anyone would want to put themselves through such hell! Because people are masochists, that’s why. Now there are marathons all over the world with different kinds of courses and requirements and themes and people pay to participate and even do them just for fun!
Running A Marathon
Have you ever run in a race? Better yet, have you gone through the rigorous training and completed a full marathon?
If you said yes, then kudos to you! What an amazing accomplishment! 26.2 miles is nothing to scoff at. The chaffing, the bleeding, the early morning runs. It sounds like torture.
Because well, it is torture. It takes a toll on your body, but those who have completed one will tell you that it’s all worth it!
Deciding To Run One
Training for a marathon and completing one requires discipline and it takes a special kind of person to even want to go there!
And what makes someone decide that they want to run 26.2 miles with a large group of people and eat goo in order to be able to keep going?
What makes someone desire to go through something so strenuous that they will have to tape up their whole body in order to avoid injury and put lube all over themselves? Again, with the chaffing. It’s a thing.
Prepping For The Race
Deciding to run a marathon isn’t something that anyone should take lightly. Running 26.2 miles is something you need to prepare for, both mentally and physically.
And if this seems like a whole lot of pressure, but you have always wanted to compete in a marathon, we have some good news for you.
There is a marathon out there that encourages you to drink wine and eat cheese and it’s in France and it sounds fab.
A Marathon For Everyone
If you are the kind of person that really wants to feel that undeniable sense of achievement that comes with completing a marathon but you aren’t good in a high-pressure environment, there is a marathon with your name on it!
We are talking about the Marathon du Medoc in Bordeaux, France. This marathon is chock full of cheese, wine and vineyards and it can’t be beat!
Yes, we are telling you that you can drink wine while running and win at the game of life!
Will Stop For Brie
Can’t you just see it now? There you are, running through the hills of France and you stop running for a minute to check out an estate.
Then you stop again at mile 11 to have a baguette with some Brie. Who cares about your time when you have wine and cheese waiting for you at the finish line?
But it was also at mile 7, and 9, and 12 and…. Well, you get the point. What a dream!
Over The Vineyards And Through The Estates
The Marathon du Medoc leads participating runners through a number of vineyards, estates and castles.
There are water stations along the way to help keep the participants hydrated, a staple at every marathon.
But why just go for water? Sure, water will get the job done but there you are, putting your body through absolute hell! You deserve something a little stronger to help get you through it, right? Don’t you want something a little more satisfying?
Oysters? No Thanks.
Well, this marathon has you covered. They provide certain stalls throughout the race that you can stop off so you can take advantage of their wine tasting sessions and cheese sampling.
And if you aren’t a wine drinking, don’t you worry. They will also provide local grapes, ice creams, and oysters.
Eating oysters and running a marathon doesn’t really seem like a great mix. Just saying. With your stomach going up and down for 26.2 miles, maybe just stick to some carbs and the weird goo stuff?
A Costume Contest!?
And as if wine, vineyards, grapes, cheese and ice cream isn’t fun enough, they also have a costume contest. Woo hoo!
The marathon encourages their participants to dress up and the person with the best costume wins a prize. You have to dress up while running all that way? Sounds like an added obstacle!
Came for the run, stayed for the costume contest. Who cares that you just ran 26.2 miles! That outfit is fire!!!
Worth The Trip
And if all of this sounds like a big distraction from the actual running of the race, the marathon is still worth the trip.
Because it is held in the south-west of France, there are plenty of stunning views and historic sites for you to feast your eyes on while you sweat it out.
So if you aren’t there to shove cheese down your throat, there is something for everyone. Take us there now, please!
Plenty Of Time
The average marathon pace is around 4 hours and 30 minutes. Participants for this particular marathon are given six and a half hours to complete the course.
According to organizers, that gives the runners plenty of time to get in a few glasses of wine, and perhaps some delicious food samples.
Again, this is not the marathon for you if you are there to beat your time or if you care about your time or actually want to win this thing.
Everything In Moderation
But just remember, if you are tempted by all the booze that this marathon has to offer, everything in moderation.
You are putting your body through the ringer. Remember to still drink water, You are running 26.2 miles, after all.
And while this is certainly a unique marathon, there are many different marathons all over the world with crazy themes that you may want to participate in. Here is a list of some of the strangest marathons on the planet…
The Man Vs. Horse Marathon
In a Welsh pub one evening, two drinking buddies were discussing whether a human or a horse would win in a race.
While the answer seems pretty obvious and they must have been drinking heavily when they came up with the idea, the pub landlord decided to put the matter to the test.
That was the beginning of the Man vs. Horse Marathon. The rival species line up each year to compete in Britain’s smallest town, Llanwrtyd Wells. A horse won for the first 24 years of the contest, until an elite British marathon runner, Huw Lob, became the race’s first human victor.
Why risk your life just climbing Mount Everest when you can run it instead? Climbing it is for losers! Running it is the real deal.
To acclimate to the high altitude, participants will have to hike for 15 days before the race day. Then they set off at 6.30am on a route which includes snow, ice, yaks, and narrow suspension bridges. How fun!
Who wants to suffer from altitude sickness and hypothermia? Well, then this is the race for you!
Burro Days World Championship Pack Burro Race
Do you want to run a marathon that you can drag ass the whole time? No, but literally drag a donkey around.
In homage to the region’s Gold Rush era, all competitors in this off-road marathon race in Colorado will be accompanied by a donkey bearing 15kg of mining gear.
According to the race, this is a cruelty-free event and anyone using prods, whips or other harsh encouragers is immediately disqualified. Why not keep the donkeys out of it all together?
Big Five Marathon
And if running with donkey’s isn’t cool enough for you, why not try the Big Five Marathon in Limpopo Province, South Africa?
Set in one of the most stunning game reserves in the world, you get to run among the ‘Big Five’ of African game: elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, lions and leopards.
Nothing stands between you and these beautiful creatures, so if you are concerned about your time and want to really sprint and go for it, this one may be the one for you. There is nothing like running from a lion to get your marathon time up.
Midnight Sun Marathon
Want to run all night long? Try the Midnight Sun Marathon in Tromsø, Norway.
For this run, runners will start in the evening and most will finish around midnight. But don’t worry about running in the dark.
Because the sun doesn’t set in this region of Arctic Norway between May and July, the evening run takes place in broad daylight. Or broad nightlight. With stunning views of Arctic mountains, this breath-taking course can’t be beat.
Walt Disney World Marathon
Why not have a little fun next time you run a half or half marathon? Billed as “the most magical race on earth”, this 26-miler takes in four Walt Disney World theme parks, including the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
You’ll feel like a kid again when you stop to take pictures with all your favorite Disney characters.
At the end, all the super sweaty runners will be presented with a Mickey Mouse Finisher Medal.
Great Wall Marathon
While you don’t want to hit a wall while running a marathon, why not run on one?
This annual event in the Tianjin Province of China includes long sections through lower valleys and picturesque villages.
But the real drama comes during the 6km of the route on the Great Wall itself. Here, the runner is faced by more than 5,000 leg-demolishing stone steps, and arduous ascents and descents. Isn’t running the damn thing hard enough?
The North Pole Marathon
Running a marathon and completing it can make you feel like you are on top of the world!
Well, what happens when you complete a marathon on top of the world? Literally. Meaning, on the North Pole.
Those who run this race will face 26 miles of Arctic ice floes and hard snow in sub-zero temperatures during the North Pole Marathon. Polar bears often present an added obstacle, as if the weather wasn’t bad enough. Move out of the way, polar bear! Crazy runner coming through.
A Marathon For Everyone
So there you have it! It looks like there is a marathon for every kind of runner out there.
You know what sounds better than a run on the Great Wall Of China or the Frozen Tundra of the North Pole? You know what sounds more delightful than ice cream on a marathon route in France’s wine country?
Ice cream on the couch watching Netflix. Doesn’t that sound way easier and there will be a lot less chaffing.