Wine, not water, for local runners

  • Refreshing run: ten athletes from Bermuda took part in the Medoc Marathon, in France. They dressed in French-inspired outfits, with berets featuring the flag of Bermuda. The race is renowned for offering competitors wine at various places along the route (Photograph by Natalie Dyrli)

Wine stops, not water stations, were the order of the day for ten Bermuda runners who ran the Medoc Marathon in France.

The unusual race in Bordeaux is renowned for its many wine and food refreshments that competitors can enjoy as they complete the 26.2-mile event.

The Bermuda contingent entered into the spirit of the race by donning French-inspired running attire, including striped tops and berets featuring the flag of Bermuda.

A few also ran carrying a stick of French bread.

Tim Price led the way for the island athletes, finishing 78th overall in 3hr 26min 16sec. Most of the other Bermuda runners stayed together as they tucked into snacks along the route, which included oysters, cheese, and glasses of wine.

Anna Laura Hocking, Phil Martin, Marty Merritt, Mark Harris, and Ali Hochberg all crossed the finish line together in 5:54:12, and were followed by Bonnie Mills in 6:08:45, Debbie Pharoah-Williams in 6:13:26, Natalie Dyrli in 6:27:50 and Kyle Smith in 7:01:58.

Dyrli said the team started planning their race costumes in March.

As for the wine stations on the course, she said: I believe there were 24 official wine stops, and I probably only skipped four of them.

It was truly a 26.2-milelong party with loads of live music along the way and 90 per cent of the runners were in costume, making it for an incredibly festive atmosphere.

The race, which was marking its 34th anniversary, was won by Denis Mayalid in 2:25:43, with the fastest woman Raphaelle Jourdrin in 2:58:52.