Switzerland has two running races modeled after the famous Le Marathon du Medoc in France: the VullyRun and the Semi-Marathon des Côtes de l’Orbe. With pit stops serving local wines and amuse-bouche to runners and hikers, these events have a festive atmosphere. You can focus more on the journey, rather than crossing the finish line in record time. I’ve participated in each of these now, one of which occurs next weekend. If you’re interested, there’s still time to enter!
Semi-Marathon des Côtes de l’Orbe
Date: Saturday, September 12, 2015
Location: Arnez-sur-Orbe, Vaud, Switzerland (about 30 minutes by train from Lausanne)
Courses: Half-marathon (21.1 km), La Désirée (11.6 km); both courses available for walking
Cost: CHF 30-35
At the 2014 Semi-Marathon des Côtes de l’Orbe, I ran the half-marathon, but didn’t take the time to stop and enjoy the food and wine along the way. It’s a beautiful course through the scenic hillside vineyards and villages of Côtes de l’Orbe. Participants are encouraged to wear costumes during the race, and you can select a bottle of wine for your prize at the finish. I just signed up for the 11.6-km race and look forward to getting back on the course next weekend! Maybe I’ll see you there, as well?
More information: http://semi-marathon-des-cotes-de-l-orbe.ch/ (Course website); and Semi-Marathon des Côtes de l’Orbe: Running with Wine (a post I wrote for Run the Alps about the race).
Date: Saturday, August 20, 2016
Location: Salavaux, Vaud, Switzerland (at the southern end of Lac de Morat)
Courses: Half-marathon (21.1 km), Petit-parcours (11.4 km), Walking/gourmet (11.4 km)
Cost: CHF 30-39
For the 2015 VullyRun, I wanted to take advantage of the food and wine pit stops that I missed out on at the 2014 Semi-Marathon des Côtes de l’Orbe! For this reason, a friend and I signed up for the “Walking/Gourmet” route for the inaugural edition of this race. At the check-in table where I picked up my number, race officials handed me a wine glass. I had such a great time walking the course, and we lucked out with a perfect summer day. We tried at least seven different wines (I started losing track!) and sampled local dishes, like Friture de sandre (a local lake fish) and Gâteau du Vully (a yeasted cake). The VullyRun gives participants a complementary bottle of wine at the finish line as well.
More information: vullyrun.ch/
A run or hike with beautiful scenery that’s partnered with local food and wine—it’s my idea of a perfect afternoon. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!