Marathon des vins de Blaye

February 16, 2012 08:00   Focus on a race Interview

mapHello, on May 12th 2012, you’ll be organizing the Marathon des vins de Blaye. Can you tell us where it is located?

The marathon takes place in Blaye, a wine-growing city of 5,000 inhabitants, located on the Gironde estuary, 50 km North of Bordeaux in France. The city hosts an eponymous Citadel built by Vauban where the start/finish line and all festivities will occur.

How old is the race and why was it created in the first place?

In 2012, it will be the 9th edition. The race was created by running enthusiasts, marathoners who were at the same time very close to the vineyard. Therefore it was obvious to call the race “Marathon de vins de Blaye” (Blaye wines Marathon).

Credit : Marathon des Vins de Blaye
What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

The route is undulating, mainly between the 5th and 12th kilometers with two 800 m long steep hills. From the 12th to the 30th km, the route is rolling with a few sections on trails in the middle of the vineyards.

From the 30th km there are a few slight uphills, until the finish line in the gorgeous Citadel. This year, the runners will benefit from an unobstructed view over the estuary.

How many runners do you expect on Saturday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

We hope to attract as many as 500 runners, while maintaining a human scale race.

The winner in 2011, won in 2:34 and there were 5 performances under the 3-hour threshold. We certainly would like a winner under the 2:30 but it is not our goal. We focus our efforts on European runners, particularly British runners, eager to visit us for the race as well as for the festive “French touch” we bring to it. Furthermore, it would be great to have young runners involved on this mythical distance.

Credit : Marathon des Vins de Blaye
Do you organize other races during the Week-End? If so, on what distances?

Yes ! We will host the first edition of a 10K race (10 km des Vignes) which will be run on the last kilometers of the marathon. The race will start after the marathon.

The goal is to offer a race to the runners reluctant to run a full marathon while benefiting from the special atmosphere that the marathon creates. We hope for 400 participants.

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

The weather should be ideal if we judge by the latest editions : neither too hot nor too cold. It can be cloudy on the starting line, but the clouds should go away. There might be a slight headwind until the half of the race.

Have you planned festivities around the marathon?

This is one of the specificities of the race. First, there is a disguise challenge where the really original one will get a prize. Then the runners will visit a dozen of castles where they’ll be able to taste wine while listening to live music. And we pay a great attention to the liveliness of the event : two speakers, music from the 70s and 80s, photos shot during the race displayed on a large screen and during the race a live video coverage. And finally a band playing festive music.

Credit : Marathon des Vins de Blaye
The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Blaye before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

On the evening after the race we organize a dance party with BBQ and wine. The next day, to help recovery there is a visit of the Citadel as well as a wine tasting/walk.

And for the go-to places, I invite you to visit our website

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Marathon des vins de Blaye?

The marathon is a low key, festive, bucolic event on a human scale which has no other goal than to gather and please its runners.

For more information

Interview d’Emmanuel Chaume, in charge of the communication for the Marathon des vins de Blaye.