Gib to be starting point for Eurafrica Trail
Gibraltar will be the starting point for the Eurafrica Trail 2017 – the first mountain race in the world to be held between two continents and three countries.
The Government made the announcement at a press conference held yesterday at the Tercentenary Sports Complex by Ministers Dr John Cortes and Steven Linares and Eurafrica representative Aitort Calle.
Gibraltar will now form part of the race’s third edition, with the two previous events having had over 200 volunteers and 1,000 participants from nine different countries.
Participants will face a new challenge in Eurafrica 2017; added to the already established stages of the 25 or 50 kms leg in the Alcornocales Natural Park and the final 40kms leg in Chefchaouen, Morocco, participants will now have a 4km vertical climb from Europa Point to O’ Hara’s Battery (via Mediterranean Steps) to contend with.
The Gibraltar Vertical Climb will be the starting point of an “unprecedented” race which will start on Wednesday October 11 and be completed over five days finishing on Sunday October 15 in Chefchaoeun.
Yesterday, Mr Linares flagged the two major values of the event – sport and the environment – and said this was why the government was “very excited” to be part of the event.
Environment Minister, Dr Cortes, said: “It is a very interesting initiative, it has been going on for a couple of years in Spain and Morocco and the fact that we are added as a third country and one of the two continents I think is very significant in a lot of ways.”
The event, he said, shows how the natural environment can be used for people to gain enjoyment but also in keeping with a protected area.
The event has grown exponentially and has now established relationships with mainstream and specialized media partners around the world, the government said in a statement yesterday.
It added that Eurafrica Trail also has over 10,000 subscribers and its website statistics depict over 1.5 million online hits.
In addition to the competitive side of the event the Eurafrica Trail organisers are very conscious of the natural environment within which the race is held and the communities that it involves.
Thanks to this element of social responsibility, initiatives such as the planting of the Eurafrica Forest have taken place.
This project reversed the carbon footprint of the event last year with the cleaning of river channels in the Alcornocales Natural Park in Cadiz also undertaken in 2016.
To this end the Ministry for the Environment will explore avenues of mutual interest to elaborate projects for the very near future.
Registration for the event opens on the 30th March and can be accessed via www.eurafricatrail.com. Local enthusiasts are encouraged to participate and share what will be a unique experience.