Published September 30th, 2007
I’m FINALLY getting around to posting about our adventures in Bordeaux. Given Paris was really about the food (other than the two runs, our primary exercise was walking from cafe to bistro to farmer’s market), you can read about that portion of the trip at Ovens to Betsy (definitely check out the name of the first restaurant we ate at upon arrival).
Not wanting to leave things to chance, I signed up for the Marathon du Medoc through Marathon Tours as we were not only guaranteed entry into the race, we’d also be getting tickets to the Mille-Pâtes (1,000 noodle) carbo-loading dinner and the 9K recovery walk the day after. Although not an inexpensive way to go, the package also included five nights’ stay at a hotel, breakfast each day, wine tastings and lunch at a couple of chateaux, a welcome dinner and a celebratory gala. Considering our last “real” vacation was our honeymoon to Thailand seven years ago, we decided to live it up. Turns out it was a very wise decision as the International Rugby World Cup is currently being held in France, and many of the hotels in both Bordeaux and Paris were sold out.
Right from the start I knew this would not be your typical tour group (my darling’s version of Hell would be getting stuck on either a tour bus to Branson, Missouri or on any cruise ship). Most of the 100 people in our group were running the marathon, and the majority didn’t think of themselves as “tour people.” I was amazed at their stories: for one 69-year-old gentleman Medoc was to be his 39th marathon; he ran his first at age 40! Another woman was pursuing her quest to run on all seven continents (Medoc would be her fourth and she’s signed up for the 2008 Antarctica marathon). The oldest in the group was 83 (it took a while before his doctor gave him the go-ahead. Although he was capable of finishing the full marathon, he decided to duck out at the halfway mark since he wouldn’t make our group’s cut-off time of seven hours).
But the person who truly astounded me was a tiny woman in her 60s (perhaps even 70s). All during the trip I thought she was there to cheer someone else on; I never suspected she’d be running it. But as they were handing out awards during the gala, I found out that Medoc was her 115th marathon! Simply incredible. (She won the award for the slowest person in our group).