Tag Archives: Marathon du Médoc

Chateau Pichon Baron - 32nd Marathon du Medoc - Philippe Remond

A successful Marathon for Pichon Baron

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Last Saturday was the 32nd Marathon du Médoc. As usual, we fielded a strong Pichon Baron team, of widely divergent sporting experience and ability, but all animated by the same enthusiasm for the event.

We were thrilled that one of the members of the Pichon Baron team, Freddy Guimard, won the race, with an excellent time of 2:25.

Chateau Pichon Baron - 32nd Marathon du Medoc - Freddy Guimard

This was the first time that Freddy ran with us, and his first Marathon win. He is the French champion over ten kilometers, and clearly a superb and determined athlete, but also entered magnificently into the spirit of things here, happily trying wines from Pichon Baron, Suduiraut and Quinta do Noval at dinner the night before.

I would like to say that these wines had a performance enhancing effect, but if this were so, it would be hard to explain why my half marathon time the next day was slightly longer than his complete marathon victory time.

Château Pichon Baron - 32nd Marathon du Médoc - Freddy Guimard
Freddy running past our property, wearing a crown and his tee-shirt Pichon Baron
Chateau Pichon Baron - 32nd Marathon du Medoc - Freddy Guimard
Freddy with some Victory magnums of Pichon Baron after the race

Freddy was with us because our long standing friend Philippe Rémond, many times winner of the Médoc marathon, who has run in the Pichon Baron team for years, and who trains the French running team today, brought him to Pichon with a group of friends who run regularly in our team. It is both an honour and a pleasure for all of us at Pichon that this star of French athletics should be a regular visitor to the chateau and a lover of Pichon Baron and its wines.

Chateau Pichon Baron - 32nd Marathon du Medoc - Philippe Remond
Philippe Rémond with the Pichon Baron team before the race. My son Charles (in my arms) enjoyed the ambiance but decided not to run this year

Also in the Pichon Baron team was Yves Bruneau, the butcher of Bages, pictured here passing Pichon at an early stage of the race, as you can see from the fact that not many glasses have yet been poured.

Chateau Pichon Baron - 32nd Marathon du Medoc - Yves Bruneau
Patricia Doré encouraging Yves

Yves arrived in second place in the veterans category, and we were very proud to have him in our team.

Chateau Pichon Baron - 32nd Marathon du Medoc - Christian SeelyI came past somewhat later. This picture gives the entirely misleading impression that I am walking, whereas of course I have merely slowed down in order not to bump into Ruth Santry who is taking the photograph. The great thing about any picture taken during a race is the huge number of people visible in the background. This means they have been running even slower than me, or if you like, I am winning this part of the race. The several thousand people who have gone before rather more rapidly are of course not visible.

Chateau Pichon Baron - 32nd Marathon du Medoc - Marine Castel, Nicolas SantierWe served Les Griffons 2014 at Pichon, in wine glasses of course, to all the runners who felt like a restorative at kilometer five. Nicolas Santier and Marine Castel were among the volunteers who looked after the several thousand runners who took us up on our offer.

Chateau Pichon Baron - 32nd Marathon du Medoc - Pichon Baron volunteers with musiciansTo serve wine correctly to so many people is quite a logistical operation. Here is the magnificent group of Pichon Baron volunteers, to whom all thanks are due, together with the musicians.

It was, as always, a great day, a magnificent celebration of life and wine.

Chateau Pichon Baron - 32nd Marathon du Medoc - Philippe Rémond, Christian Seely, Jean-René Matignon Here I am at the end, clearly relieved that the running part is over, enjoying the post marathon lunch with Jean-René Matignon and Philippe Rémond.

© Château Pichon Baron – images: Ruth Santry

The 30th Marathon du Médoc: the World’s Healthiest Marathon?

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Last Saturday was the 30th Marathon du Medoc. As usual we had a big Pichon Baron team,  with many distinguished runners including Jamie Goode, whose blog on the run you can read by clicking here,  and Yves Bruno the butcher from Pauillac, perhaps the thinnest and fastest butcher in the world, who was second in his category “V2M” in 2h53m42s and 2nd fastest on the Pichon Baron team.  I would also like to give a special mention to Patrice Taris who was the 1st of our runners to finish in 2h45m52s and Cédric Zilligen who was 3rd with a time of 3h38m22s.  The fastest of our lady runners was Céline Nicolle with a very respectable time of 4h10m35s.
Photo butcher
Caption “Yves Bruno the butcher from Pauillac”
As usual there was a joyous party atmosphere. I love this event – it hardly seems right to call it a race, as though many people train hard and run great times, the majority of participants are there just to have fun – because it is a celebration of the truth which seems self-evident if you participate in the event, that wine is a natural and healthy part of a balanced life, in the same way as exercise and physical fitness. The ambiance is festive without being excessive, and indeed how could it be otherwise for thousands of people who are running 42 kilometres on the day. There is an excellent rate of participation from the chateaux, many of whom offer tastings of their wine to the runners, along with more conventional marathon refreshments such as water, glucose and bananas. Personally I avoided the bananas.
The day was especially enjoyable for me as I was joined by my son Alexander at kilometre 18 where he had been waiting for me at Château Pibran with many members of the team from Pichon Baron who were serving Pibran to all the runners who cared to stop for a taste.
Photo CS and Alexander
Caption “Here is Alexander running alongside me.”
We carried on until kilometre 21, when I called it a day. I had a lunch to host at Pichon Baron, and some members of our team get back rather fast. Well that is my excuse for just enjoying the first half of the marathon, and I am sticking to it. We then walked across the vines to the garden of Pichon Baron, and welcomed the members of our team as they progressively came in.
It was a wonderful day, and as always a triumphant affirmation of the idea that a reasonable balanced approach to the pursuit of pleasure and to the enjoyment of physical fitness makes perfect sense, and a great deal more sense than a radical, puritan attitude to either subject. Everyone present had of course spent long hours training hard in order to be there, but the festive and happy atmosphere of the day showed that there is no incompatibility with that fact and with the idea that good wine and good company are part of the joy of life.

Last Saturday was the 30th Marathon du Médoc. As usual we had a big Pichon Baron team, with many distinguished runners including Jamie Goode, whose blog on the run you can read by clicking here, and Yves Bruno the butcher from Pauillac, perhaps the thinnest and fastest butcher in the world, who was second in his category “V2M” in 2h53m42s and 2nd fastest on the Pichon Baron team. I would also like to give a special mention to Patrice Taris who was the 1st of our runners to finish in 2h45m52s and Cédric Zilligen who was 3rd with a time of 3h38m22s.  The fastest of our lady runners was Céline Nicolle with a very respectable time of 4h10m35s.

Yves Bruno, the butcher from Pauillac
Yves Bruno, the butcher from Pauillac

As usual there was a joyous party atmosphere. I love this event – it hardly seems right to call it a race, as though many people train hard and run great times, the majority of participants are there just to have fun – because it is a celebration of the truth which seems self-evident if you participate in the event, that wine is a natural and healthy part of a balanced life, in the same way as exercise and physical fitness. The ambiance is festive without being excessive, and indeed how could it be otherwise for thousands of people who are running 42 kilometres on the day. There is an excellent rate of participation from the chateaux, many of whom offer tastings of their wine to the runners, along with more conventional marathon refreshments such as water, glucose and bananas. Personally I avoided the bananas.

The day was especially enjoyable for me as I was joined by my son Alexander at kilometre 18 where he had been waiting for me at Château Pibran with many members of the team from Pichon Baron who were serving Pibran to all the runners who cared to stop for a taste.

Here is Alexander running alongside me.
Here is Alexander running alongside me.

We carried on until kilometre 21, when I called it a day. I had a lunch to host at Pichon Baron, and some members of our team get back rather fast. Well that is my excuse for just enjoying the first half of the marathon, and I am sticking to it. We then walked across the vines to the garden of Pichon Baron, and welcomed the members of our team as they progressively came in.

It was a wonderful day, and as always a triumphant affirmation of the idea that a reasonable balanced approach to the pursuit of pleasure and to the enjoyment of physical fitness makes perfect sense, and a great deal more sense than a radical, puritan attitude to either subject. Everyone present had of course spent long hours training hard in order to be there, but the festive and happy atmosphere of the day showed that there is no incompatibility with that fact and with the idea that good wine and good company are part of the joy of life.

Marathon du Médoc – 29th edition

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This was the 29th Marathon du Medoc, and we had a great Château Pichon-Longueville team this year.

Château Pichon-Longueville team
Château Pichon-Longueville team

This annual event is one of my favourite moments of the year, a chance to celebrate the idea that an enthusiasm for wine is not only compatible with, but part of a healthy and balanced life. The thousands of fit and happy runners who participate every year, enjoying judicious sips of wine at regular stops at the chateaux along the route are joyous proof that the puritans have got it all wrong.

Château Pichon-Longueville was at Kilometre 18 this year and we were besieged by enthusiastic wine tasters. As usual we offered the 9,000 runners a taste of wine (Les Tourelles de Longueville 2011) in proper wine glasses.

Jean-René Matignon, Directeur Technique du Château Pichon-Longueville, dans le rôle du serveur volant !
Jean-René Matignon, Technical Director of Château Pichon-Longueville, in the role of flying butler !

This operation is quite a logistical challenge and fortunately we have an enthusiastic group of benevolent volunteers who man the tables each year, happy to participate in the generally euphoric and celebratory atmosphere of the day.

La joyeuse équipe de bénévoles
The enthusiastic team of benevolent volunteers

We had some distinguished runners this year in the Château Pichon-Longueville team, notably Victoria Moore and Jamie Goode, who was running his first marathon, and whose coverage of the event can be seen on this link: video Jamie Goode.

avec Jamie Goode
with Jamie Goode

I ran with Jamie and with Port lover and expert Axel Probst, who is an ex Luftwaffe pilot and living proof that regular consumption of Vintage Port is perfectly compatible with being terrifyingly fit.

avec Axel Probst
with Axel Probst

We stopped at most of the chateaux to verify the quality of their offerings, purely for professional reasons, and had a great morning. It should be admitted here that I only ran the half marathon, having decided a few years ago that the first half was rather more fun than the second. Of course I have my duties as host at Château Pichon-Longueville to attend to also, so it would be quite irresponsible to run the whole way. But I am full of admiration for all the runners who finished and who proved by their presence and by their performance that an enthusiastic enjoyment of great wine is perfectly compatible with a condition of perfect physical fitness.