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Matthew Pritchard’s French Wine Marathon Adventure! September 8-14 2022

Bonjour Bonjour my friends, Matthew Pritchard here and have I ever got something banging for you lot. COME JOIN ME FOR A WEEK IN FRANCE, IN SEPTEMBER THIS YEAR, FOR A BUCKET LIST TRIP OF A LIFETIME. Wine, a little exercise, and a few stops for wine tours in Bordeaux and Champagne, and even a little time for Paris!

pritchard
Come join me for a wild week in France

What’s this all about then?!

I’m running a tour to France in September. 7 days/6 nights. 15 spots are available only. First come, first served!

The tour starts in Bordeaux and ends in Paris. And the whole trip is built around something I’ve wanted to do for a long, long time. The ‘Marathon Du Medoc’ AKA The WINE MARATHON!

So… Wine, adventure, a fun group, a bit of exercise and a wild time. Sounds like the perfect trip to me! If you’ve been wanting to get fit here’s your excuse, or you already are in shape, or perhaps a marathon has been on your bucket list, then THIS IS THE TIME. Come join me on the Marathon Du Medoc Tour, September 8th to 14th 2022.

Ok, ok. You have no idea what I’m talking about right? I explain more down below, but in a nutshell, each year in the Bordeaux region of France, about 8000 people (in fancy dress) ‘run’ the Marathon Du Medoc. The race is run through the vineyards of Medoc. And roughly at each mile there is a refueling station. Except the refuel isn’t electrolytes and energy bars. It’s wine. And also other snacks like olives, crackers and the like. And, of course, more wine.

It is a real marathon. 26 miles/42.2km. So you do need to be in some kinda shape, but it’s not so serious, you don’t have to be an athlete, in fact, I’m hoping some of you guys use this as a trip to get in a bit better shape and have a fun holiday. I’ve wanted to do it for a long, long time but it’s just one of those things you never get around to. So I’ve decided to make it happen. And build a trip around it. Bordeaux, the Marathon Du Medoc, then north to Paris. Day trip to the Champagne region to celebrate our Marathon exploits. Done. So, who wants to join me?!

Anyone free in September? Let’s do this!
marathon du medoc tour
Join me on my Marathon du Medoc tour, September 2022

Who Am I?

I am Mathew Pritchard. You might have seen me getting shot with paintballs to break a (non-existent) world record, or even getting branded with a cattle rod in my younger days in the TV Show Dirty Sanchez. Since then, I’ve turned vegan, completed 10 ironmen in 10 days, rowed across the Atlantic ocean last year, and run more stupid ultra races than I can count. But I do still like the odd glass of wine or 3. So a wine marathon? Perfect!

SWYD: SLEEP WHEN YOU’RE DEAD:

You know my motto, Sleep When You’re Dead. Well after 2 years of lock-downs, and airport closures, enough is enough. I want to live again. So I’m going to kick it off in style with this trip in France. And I want you guys to join me.

I heard about the Marathon Du Medoc years ago. And I’ve always wanted to do it. I’m sure you can relate. “One day“. Right? But one day never comes. I waited around for someone else to organise it. So the ‘one day’ for this Marathon never came. No more inaction. So let’s do it. This is our ‘One Day‘. And it’s going to be so much fun!

I CANNOT WAIT to meet a group of fun people in Bordeaux, get dressed up in fancy dress like an idiot, complete a marathon together (admittedly mostly a very slow stroll) and drink French wine all day. I’ve also pinned on a cool 3 days after the Marathon so we can see a bit of Paris AND go and visit the wine region of Champagne. Where we celebrate in style in a day-trip to the Champagne vineyards, sampling and tasting (and most definitely swallowing) lots of Champagne.

Who’s in?

marathon du medoc tour
Our trip includes Paris, of course!

What is the Marathon Du Medoc?

Just to be clear, the actual Marathon day event isn’t organized by me. It’s a proper event (with a Wikipedia page and everything). But I have the spots secured already and the trip is built around that. When you sign up with me, it’s all included.

Up to 8,500 people compete in the event every year. It sells out every year. And while 99% of people race in fancy dress, it’s also a ‘real’ Marathon. Where the winners will run under 2 hours 30 minutes (that won’t be me mind!).

But the vast majority of runners don’t go there for their personal best times. With wine available constantly throughout the race, it’s much more of a party atmosphere than a normal marathon. So as long as you can finish the 42km in under 6 hours and 30 minutes, then you’re welcome to join the party!

medoc marathon

Our Marathon Du Medoc Itinerary

DAY 1:

The trip starts in Bordeaux. When you sign up, I’ll send you the hotel name that we start in. We’ll have a briefing at 6pm on September 8th (probably along with some wine, you know just to get in the right frame of mind).

Then we’ll have a group dinner and get to know each other. We overnight in our Bordeaux hotel.

Marathon du medoc tour
We start in beautiful Bordeaux

DAY 2:

In the morning, we will go to the Race Registration and get our bib/running numbers allocated. After we’re all signed up, we have a vineyard tour in the afternoon. Bordeaux, and the Medoc region specifically, is home to some of the finest wine in the all the world. At this junction, I should probably admit I don’t know too much about wine, apart from the fact I like to drink it. So if you’re a wine connoisseur or quite the opposite, don’t worry. Everyone is welcome.

Our evening dinner should be kinda sensible. We have a Marathon to run tomorrow!

Vineyard tour

DAY 3:

RACE DAY! The Marathon is due to start at 9.30am. But with so many people, we’ll be there early. Primed and ready in our fancy dress (more on that below).

Depending on how serious people want to race, some may shoot off, and good luck to the real runners. I know the official cut-off time is 6.5 hours. So I hope to finish in 6 hours and 29 minutes. Let’s do it!

Back to Bordeaux in the evening to share our war stories and (hopefully) show off our finisher’s medals!

wine marathon medoc
1 of the 23 Wine and snacks stops

DAY 4:

Don’t worry. No early start today. Sore legs, sore feet and most probably a sore head after yesterday’s exertions. A lazy breakfast. Plenty of that French coffee, eh? In the afternoon, we make our way via train to Paris. The journey takes about 3 hours.

We’ll check into our hotel in Paris. And then make our way to the romantic river Seine for an evening cruise. We’re a surprisingly cultured bunch really.

Paris

DAY 5:

Paris. The most visited city in the world. If it’s your first time, then today is the day you lay eyes on the iconic Eiffel Tower. And the Louvre, home to the famous Mona Lisa. We have a half-day tour, followed by a whole half day to do what you want.

Climb the Eiffel Tower, or join the thousands of people to be underwhelmed by the Mona Lisa in person. Or go for some shopping on the Champs Elysees avenue.

We’ll have an optional trip to the Moulin Rouge in the evening (pricey but pretty cool – tickets sell out 6 months+ in advance, so let me know asap!).

moulin rouge
A night at the Moulin Rouge

DAY 6:

Our last full day. So let’s not waste it. If you didn’t know, Champagne isn’t merely a bubbly drink. In fact, it’s a region in France, where Champagne was created. And it’s only 2 hours from Paris. So we’re off!

We will have a beautiful drive out of the city, through the vineyards, and will finish up in Epernay. Here, we check the Moet & Chandon caves and pretend to understand the differences in all the various Champagnes they let us sample.

We’ll have a late lunch together, grab a bottle or 2 for gifts, probably drink them on the way back to Paris. Then one last night together in the big smoke.

Champagne tour

DAY 7:

That’s all folks. Until next time. Cheers!

Marathon Du Medoc Tour Dates

September 8th to September 14th, 2022

  • The actual Marathon Du Medoc race day is Saturday, September 10th. Starting at 9.30 am, with a 4pm cut-off time for the race.

Marathon Du Medoc Tour Price

The trip is a week long. 7 Days / 6 nights. It’s priced at £2099

  • A non-refundable deposit of 10% (£210) is required to secure your spot. Ideally paid via Wise.com, or UK bank transfer.
  • Price Based on per-person sharing. Don’t worry though, you can come solo and I’ll pair you up with someone from the same sex. Or we can organise a single supplement for your own room if you prefer, for an additional cost.
France

More about the Marathon:

Rules:

It is a genuine marathon. 42.2km/26 miles. And the race cut-off time is 6 and a half hours.

So you don’t have to be super fit, of course. But you do have to at least be able to walk for 40km. Albeit with plenty of (wine) stops, 23 in total. If you’re already kinda fit, then a month or so of practicing walking for long durations would be enough training.

If you’re a little out of shape, then this trip is the perfect way to focus on a fun adventure and get back into some light exercise. A simple 30-60 minute workout (or walk/jog) 2 or 3 times a week for 2 or 3 months before the trip will get you in ship shape.

If you’re worried about the marathon distance, or training, let me know and we can chat about it. I can help I hope.

NOTE: There is no 10km/half-marathon options. It’s only the full marathon.

Wine/Food:

There are 23 refueling stations throughout the race. Most of them have wine. And it would be criminal not to sample some of the best wines in the world, right? Expect some luxury food too along the way, I’ll be there hunting the best vegan options/.

Race Timing:

The race starts on Saturday, September 10th at 9.30am in the morning. In the town of Pauillac. About an hour from Bordeaux city. All transport is provided by me.

Do I have to be fit?! Training:

If you have ever run a marathon, or a half marathon, then you know what’s up. And this is a little easier. Because we stop/start so much with all the wine and food tastings.

If you’ve never done any kind of long-distance running/jogging/walking, don’t worry! This is the perfect, fun way to introduce yourself and achieve something very cool.

Message me if you need help with training. But for a great start, go for a brisk walk of 10km (6.5 miles) this weekend. And time yourself. If you can do that in 90 minutes or less. You’re almost ready already!

Fancy Dress

Normally, the Marathon Du Medoc tour is fancy dress by suggestion alone. But post-Covid, people have been stuck at home, no fun, no events. So this year, it’s different. It’s COMPULSORY!

The theme? Cinema. But don’t panic, we’ll have a WhatsApp/Facebook group for all of my group, and we can discuss ideas together.

marathon du medoc fancy dress

GETTING THERE

I’ll be there a few days before you guys arrive. I’m guessing most of you will be coming from the UK, I’ll be coming from Wales obviously. Ryan Air fly from Manchester (my nearest, easiest way there), London etc for 50 quid to Bordeaux. And then another 50 quid-odd from Paris back home. All good.

Do I have to be Vegan?!

No, of course not. Not even vegetarian! The way I look at veganism is that the best I can do is to be true to myself. Lots of my mates eat meat, even my mrs. So no, you don’t have to be vegan. But of course I’ll try to make sure there are vegan options at each spot we stop for food.

Come join me!

What’s included/Not included in the tour?

Basically, sign up (via email to johnny@onestep4ward.com), then get yourself to Bordeaux and we’ll take care of the rest until we finish up in Paris a week later.

What’s Included:

  • A week with me!
  • All transport
  • All accommodation* (based on twin sharing, but don’t worry, most people come solo, I will pair people up).
  • Single supplement is available for people who want their own room priced at an additional £800.
  • A secondary guide throughout
  • Race registration and bib number
  • Day trip to Champagne
  • Bordeaux vineyard tour
  • Dinner the night before the Marathon
  • Transfers from Bordeaux to Paris
  • Paris day tour with local guide
  • Hangovers guaranteed

What’s not included:

  • Visas
  • Travel insurance (compulsory on my trip, I recommend these guys)
  • International flights
  • Lunches and Dinners throughout the trip
  • Optional activities (Moulin Rouge for example)
  • Airport transfers
  • Single Supplement (if you want your own room)
Me and lemmy!

Who is this Johnny/onestep4ward guy whose Website I’m on?!

Johnny is one of the guys I rowed across the Atlantic with last year! He’s helping put together the whole thing, and one of his team will be there with us to help with all the logistics. That way I can drink more wine!

Johnny and me rowing the Atlantic Ocean together last year

How Do I Sign Up?!

Easy! Email johnny on johnny@onestep4ward.com and mention that you want to be on Pritch’s tour. He’ll then send you all the details on payments/deposits/packing lists etc and we’re all set. I’ll see you in Bordeaux!

FINAL THOUGHTS ON MY MARATHON DU MEDOC TOUR

I’m seriously excited. I know some tour companies run the same trips every year blah blah. It’s business for them. With me, it’s a little different. I organise trips that I WANT to do. And I am dying to do this, so why not build a trip around it? So come and join me!

tour marathon du medoc
Come join my Marathon Du Medoc Tour!
Here’s my prediction for the finish line in Bordeaux, see ya there!

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