Guest blog by boomer Anne Carlson:

Steak, shucked oysters, gourmet cheese, ice cream, fresh fruit, homemade breads, wine, music, entertainment. Does that sound nice and pleasing to your palette? Well, this isn’t exactly the intimate dinner you might have expected, but rather the experience I had running the Medoc Marathon in the Bordeaux region of France! Out of the 15 marathons I have run, this was by far the most outrageous, crazy and fun experience I have had running 26.2 miles!!

The course winds through 59 vineyards along village roads and through beautiful châteaux courtyards. The race took place on September 10th, starting and ending in Pauillac France. Being peak harvest season, the vines were covered with thousands of vibrant, crimson colored grapes. Those very vineyards also provided convenient and somewhat private “porta potties” for the 8,500 runners who participated! The runners all dress in costumes with a different theme every year. This year’s theme was “animals”.  I chose to run as Minnie Mouse which included a polka dot dress, fishnet hose and mouse ears! It was amazing to see all the many different and elaborate costumes on the course. There were lions, tigers, and bears…oh my!! Giraffes, mice, ducks, turtles, elephants and any other animal you could think of lined the course. Then there were the folks who decided to choose a different kind of “animal” theme such as the men dressed in French maid costumes who left little to the imagination! I enjoyed being surrounded by the many different “animals” and listening to an assortment of different languages. “Minnie” made it the entire way dressed in costume, while enjoying the food and wine at each station. (Photo: Minnie Mouse at 13.5 miles along the course) 

The fun doesn’t end after the marathon! The following day they have what’s called the Ballade. This is a 5 mile recovery walk (important after all that wine on marathon day!) which goes through some beautiful vineyards and châteaux while once again enjoying food and wine along the route! The walk ends with a large celebration dinner…good food, wine and dancing! The French sure know how to throw a party!

If the marathon bug ever bites and you want to have an awesome time, I would highly recommend this marathon. Just remember to eat, drink and RUN responsibly and keep in mind that even after partaking in all the wine and food along the course, you still have to 26.2 miles to go!!

Anne Carlson is a 50 something mother of two children. She lives in Missoula, MT with her husband Steve, and children Sarah 21 and Alex 18. She practiced as a Registered Nurse for many years, but now spends her time volunteering in various organizations. She is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys running, hiking, biking, and golfing. She has run 15 marathons including the Boston and New York. The Medoc Marathon is one she has had on her bucket list for 9 years. “Why would you not want to run a marathon where you get to drink wine and eat gourmet food along the way??” 

This is the first in a series on phenomenal baby boomer women doing great things.