The Local Video

VIDEO: France to host ‘world’s booziest marathon’ on Saturday

VIDEO: France to host 'world's booziest marathon' on Saturday
Photo: Marathon du Medoc
This Saturday thousands of people will guzzle lots of wine in the Bordeaux region - while running a marathon. Here's what you need to know about the Marathon du Medoc.

Some 8,500 runners from all over the world will gather on the banks of the Gironde estuary in the south west of France on Saturday for an event that has become an institution in the French cultural and even sporting calendar.

The Marathon du Medoc will see runners (or perhaps walkers is more appropriate for many participants) run 26 miles or 42.2km through the vineyards and chateaux of the famous Medoc wine region.

Apart from the distance that will be covered this is no ordinary marathon.

For a start participants will get to sample fine wines at 22 drinks stations around the case. They can also replenish their energy by munching on some of the 18,000 oysters or 200 kg of entrecôte steak that will be on offer.

And they can take in the splendor of 53 different chateaux and listen to the tunes of over 50 orchestras.

The Medoc region's world-famous chateaux – include Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Chateau Latour, all open their grounds and cellars to offer runners some of the world's most respected wines

The first Marathon du Medoc was held in 1984 and since then it has proved a roaring success although organisers have resisted calls to raise the maximum number of runners in order to maintain its authenticity.

It probably has one of the slowest average times of all the marathons with most runners aiming to get over the line in six hours.

The race, if it can be called one, begins in the town of Pauillac at 9.30am on Saturday and yes it's too late to sign up.

These videos give you a flavour of the experience.