Cognac Half Marathon, 10.5k and Marathon

by Roger Bradley

Saturday November  9th 2013

Surely life cannot get any better than running/staggering round vine yards of France downing a little tot of Cognac every few miles or so.  This day of running in the Charente region provides a 10.5K as well as a full Marathon, which all start and finish in the town square of Jarnac. And what a finish, with plenty of the velvet liquor on offer just after you cross the line, along with lots of lovely French food.

For the second year running the finish of the half marathon was marred by heavy rain, which meant that participants and their supporters were reluctant to stand around in the finishing area and cheer home the Marathon runners or partake of the excellent free Cognac on offer.  However, as last year, the small contingent from Lordshill did not let a little rain spoil their enjoyment of the occasion.

This very well organised three race event (all of which finish in the town square by the river Charente) has a party atmosphere which, besides the flowing Cognac, has an assortment of food stalls to keep runners and non-runners fortified before, during and after the races. Not that runners need a lot of after race feeding as some of the Chateaux and villages have tables full of various tit-bits as well as wine and (here’s that word again) Cognac. At one point, runners pass through a huge barn full of barrels giving off the most wonderful aroma, which was most intoxicating.

No members of Lordshill ran the full marathon this year. Three of us did attempt the half but as we are all on a downhill slope to old age we prefer not to have our finishing times and places published.