Beaujolais Marathon, Half Marathon and 12K

by Roger Bradley

Saturday November 23rd 2013

I just do not know how I cope with running a half marathon followed by a full marathon within two weeks. Maybe it was the Cognac of the Charente Region of perhaps the wine of Beaujolais.  But when you have a running club as big as Lordshill has now become, someone has to put their hand up and do the research that is needed.  We are lucky at Lordshill to have as members, myself and Derek Goodchild, who are willing to sacrifice personal PB’s so as these intoxicating runs can be written up in ‘Road Runner’.

Unlike the Cognac Marathon, a figure of eight course with the half marathon running the first fifty percent, the Beaujolais is an A to B course with the other two races joining the marathon course for the run to the finish.  An extremely well organised event with well over 500 marshals to cover the many jobs that organising a Marathon presents.  Based in the town of Villefrache-sur-Saone, north of Lyon, runners are bussed up to the start at Fleurie, where we were deposited at a Sports Hall. Besides tots of wine, there were tables full of pre-race tit bits.

Lordshill members have run quite a few of these wine tasting marathons, such as at Medoc and Blaye but the Beaujolais was the first to provide wine before the start.  The course is not a record breaker as there is too much downhill in the first few kilometres and, as with all marathons through vine yards, is undulating the rest of the way.

Six Lordshill members ran the race with Lawrence Chen 3.14 leading us to the finish and Di Mattingly being our only female entrant.  As with Cognac, a well recommended weekend with a variety of distances for those who do not want to run the 26 miles.