S'porean takes part in French marathon offering wine, food along route

Call it the happiest race on earth.

Rather than pain, strain and mental grit, the Marathon du Medoc is filled with food, wine and bands.

Such is the marathon's draw that Singaporean Jessica Wang Sing Yee, 36, planned her European trip around it.

Held on Sept 13 in Pauillac, near the Bordeaux wine-making region, the 30th edition of the race saw some 10,000 runners - about 1,300 more than last year and the most runners the race has ever had.

Miss Wang stumbled upon the marathon by chance when she was planning her Europe trip in December last year.

She was keen to see "if it was possible to drink and run at the same time".

The run itself, along with a 10km recovery walk and lunch the next day, cost 122 euros (S$197).

Miss Wang, an avid marathon runner, says she enjoyed the run - which took her six hours to complete.

And she sampled almost every wine available along the way - there were about 20 stops for wine tasting throughout the route and even more food stops.

"I was not going for any personal best time and decided to enjoy myself for the whole marathon because it was chateau after chateau of drinks and food," she says.

As the marathon theme was "Countries of the world and their carnivals", Miss Wang had wanted to wear a cheongsam but decided against it as it would make running difficult; instead, she opted for a vampire-knight costume.

A couple working here - Mr Laurent Brighel, a 34-year-old Singapore permanent resident, and his fiancee, Ms Aijing Liu, 31, a Swiss national - also took part in the marathon, for the second time. The first time was two years ago in 2012.

Ms Liu, who works as a legal counsel, says: "People were dressed up and the scenery was very nice with vineyards. It was a festive environment."

The couple turned up in a pair of joker costumes in bright red and black, complete with headgear and Venetian masks.

Mr Brighel, who does business development, says they had the mask on for the whole 42km race.

Says Ms Liu: "That is the fun thing - nobody knows who you are."


This article was first published on Sept 28, 2014.
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