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Majestic and Maggies: Marathon du Médoc

Following a staff vote last November, Majestic Wine’s Charity of the Year 2011 is Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres. One of this year’s most challenging staff fundraisers was the Marathon du Médoc on 10th September 2011.

Nine members of staff – Sarah Chugg (Majestic Yeovil), Hamish Irvine Robertson (Majestic Hale Barns), Jamie Flanagan (Majestic Inverness), Chris Ashton (Majestic Chislehurst), Joe Burke (Majestic Sunningdale), Alex Wall (Majestic Farnham), Ben Hughes (Majestic Bristol), Paul Butler (Majestic Norwich) and Will Morrison (Majestic Causewayside) – all completed the challenging 26.3 mile race through the Médoc vineyards in Bordeaux. Whilst training, they collected sponsorship and have raised £6000 for Maggie’s, a fantastic sum!

One of the runners, Sarah Chugg, shares her experience…

I half smiled, half grimaced as another ladybird over took me, those ladybirds sure are fast I thought as I trotted past Minnie Mouse and a dozen turtles, at least they seemed to be slower than me. I rounded a bend and almost bumped into a herd of cows all mooing and laughing, sipping expensive Bordeaux wine in front of a beautiful Château. No, I wasn’t having a crazy dream caused by too much cheese and wine. I was running the Marathon du Médoc where sights like these are common!!

Let’s back up a little…. In June, nine brave/foolish Majestic staff members signed up to run the Marathon du Médoc in aid of Maggie’s.

It was a gruelling 26 miles on roads, gravel, sand and stones, weaving through the vineyards and châteaux of Bordeaux, and in fancy dress! A fancy dress theme is chosen every year, this year as you may have guessed was animals! The Majestic team consisted of a tiger, a cat, a couple of (mad) cows, and some more sensibly dressed runners.
The walk to the race start was a very surreal experience – 7500 people dressed in fancy dress, some singing, some like me a little scared looking! It seemed more like a carnival atmosphere than a competitive race, there was an incredible low fly-over by a pair of French jets, followed by the countdown 3…2…1, the gun sounded and we were off!
We ran past some stunning vineyards and amazing châteaux – Château Haut Batailley, Château Latour, Château Pontet Canet just to name a few! Along the route and in all the little villages we passed through were bands playing upbeat music. Running up and down sandy, stony tracks in and out of châteaux was really tough, especially in 30 degree heat, but the châteaux were beautiful, the people lovely and the wine plentiful!
Along the last few kilometres were stalls with locals giving out their local delights – oysters, ham, ice creams – but by now I just wanted to cross the finish line! As I rounded the last corner and saw the finish line, I could have cried with relief! It was quite something running the last 100m over the red carpet with everyone cheering.
All 9 Majestic runners completed the race (excellent considering around 10% of runners don’t make it to the finish!) and boy did we enjoy celebrating with some Champagne that evening! It was a fantastic experience made all the better knowing we raised such a great amount for Maggie’s.