The Marathon du Medoc at Château Pichon-Longueville Baron

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Last Saturday was the 26th Marathon du Medoc. We participate very actively in this event. Château Pichon-Longueville Baron  has twice hosted the giant “Soiree des Mille Pates”, the dinner for 1500 or so Marathon runners that takes place the night before – the last time was last year in fact. I love this event, and have been running in it myself, on and off (very slowly, and not always to the end!) since 1991. It is a very joyous occasion, a celebration of the Médoc, of its Chateaux and its wines, and an affirmation of the idea that a moderate and regular consumption of wine is not only perfectly consistent with a healthy and active lifestyle, but is a natural and harmonious part of such a life. I do not think there are many puritans or teetotallers among the 8,800 participants, some of who showed a fairly unbridled enthusiasm for our product, and yet each one of them has had to submit themselves to a sustained programme of training in order to be there on the day.

Marathon du Médoc: Château Pichon-Longueville team

We have a Château Pichon-Longueville Baron team, seen here on the steps of the chateau on a beautiful morning last Saturday. Many have been coming for years. Please note in the centre of the line up the distinguished journalists Jean Francis Pécresse and Philippe Maurange in jungle costume (Tarzan and Jane in fact).

Marathon du Médoc: Christian Seely in front of Château Pichon-Longueville

Château Pichon-Longueville Baron was at Kilometre 17 this year, which made it a perfect place for me to stop, my training programme probably having been the least rigorous of all the participants. But I had a great time running that far, and enjoyed the opportunity to taste wine at the various chateaux we passed on our way through Pauillac and St Julien. At Pichon we poured Les Tourelles de Longueville 2008, which showed very well, and seemed to be appreciated by the thousands of runners who enjoyed the chance to taste our wine, served as you can see in wine glasses. I am not actually drinking two glasses but holding my wife’s while she takes the photo.

Marathon du Médoc: the band “Banda Biez Bat de Bassussary” in front of Château Pichon-Longueville

The wine tasting was accompanied by the band “Banda Biez Bat de Bassussary” seen here in the picture with various members of the Château Pichon-Longueville Baron team who worked very hard to serve the thousands of wine tasters in front of the chateau under the able direction of Corinne Michot on the left.

Marathon du Médoc: Ruth and Sophie Santry, Marie-Louise Schÿler, Théodore et Christian Seely

Disguises were the order of the day! Here are from left to right Ruth Santry, her daughter Sophie, a beautiful Schtroumpf who mesmerised my sons, Marie-Louise Schÿler who ran a very fast Marathon, and then in the front row, Theodore Seely and myself.

It was a wonderful day, perhaps a little hotter than one might have liked, but the weather was typical of the lovely sunny days we are enjoying here in Bordeaux this September which are providing perfect ripening conditions of the 2010 vintage, which is shaping up to be very good indeed. More of that when we visit the vineyards next week.

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