The study has been prepared by the Ecology Department of the Autonomous University of Madrid, whose members will also be present at the Presentation Act.
The organization has announced that the registrations for the 2021 Edition will start on Monday, July 19 at 7:00 p.m.
Diputació de Castelló has presented the Environmental Assessment Report of Penyagolosa Trails, which analyzed the environmental impact caused by the Ultra Trail CSP (110 kilometers) and the MIM (60 kilometers), considered exemplary mountain races in the national sports calendar. Both races start in Castelló de la Plana and culminate in the Sanctuary of Sant Joan de Penyagolosa. After having been postponed due to the global health situation caused by the COVID-19, this year the races will be extraordinarily held from October 15 to 17.
Attending the presentation act, which took place at the Province’s Cultural Center Las Aulas de Castelló, were the Sports Deputy Tania Baños; Penyagolosa Trails’ Director Tico Cervera; Professor of Ecology and Doctor Javier Benayas, from the Autonomous University of Madrid, and the Environmental Consultant Miguel Faucha, creators of the report. This reflects the commitment from Diputació de Castelló, the main sponsor of the event, and the Organization of Penyagolosa Trails, to adopt measures that help minimize the impacts on fauna, flora and goods of cultural interest that may be caused by the sports competition, since it takes place in a protected natural space. In addition, the mayors of the municipalities through which the MIM and the CSP pass by have also been present, as well as collaborating clubs.
Tania Baños, head of the Sports Area of the Diputación, highlights the importance of this study, “which emphasizes what we have been defending for a long time: that it is necessary to respect and preserve in good condition our natural heritage while making a rational use of it, so that it can be enjoyed by lovers of sports in nature; and through this generate development opportunities in our countryside villages”. In her opinion, “to preserve our landscape is a completely different thing from removing humans from it”. She explained that “when people are banned from the natural environment, it becomes unsustainable”.
Tico Cervera, director of Penyagolosa Trails, has underscored the strong will of the Organization for voluntarily allocating resources and worrying about understanding the possible environmental impacts they could be causing. They did so by looking for external teams of professionals that could assess what they were doing well and in which aspects they could improve, by taking appropriate measures by experts outside of the organization.
It should be noted that there is an evident concern with guaranteeing the sustainability of this type of races in the proceedings of the organization. In fact, in 2017 Penyagolosa Trails was certified by the UNE-EN ISO 20121:2013 standard, regarding the management systems of sustainable events. With this, it became the first international trail event to hold such recognition, thus joining the few sports events around the world that hold this certification standard, such as the London Olympic Games, the Barcelona World Race, and Roland Garros. This made it possible to adopt a series of measures and good practices that are extremely important.
For its part, the Department of Ecology of the Autonomous University of Madrid has highlighted that “the key to making this type of sports event compatible with the preservation of the locations where it takes place is a solid and real collaboration between government institutions’ researchers and scientists; the promoters of these events; and of course, the local population that lives in that specific location and make a living out of it”. Likewise, in the words of Benayas: “The Trail world must assume its role in the preservation of the same nature from which it finds its sustenance and continue working towards a sport that is increasingly sustainable to the environment. Without nature and culture, without the landscapes and the richness of each environment in which this sport is practiced, the races themselves lose much of their value”. The authors of the report have publicly applauded the attitude of Penyagolosa Trails when it comes to betting on scientific studies on how their races affect the natural environment of Castellón, putting its conservation first and showing openness to improve certain aspects to respect nature.
To close the event, the organization of Penyagolosa Trails has revealed that the opening of the registrations for the present edition of 2021 will be on Monday, July 19 at 7:00 pm.
About the Penyagolosa Trails environmental assessment report
In general, the report shows that the activity analyzed in this study does not generate serious or irreversible environmental impacts on the environment, as they can be limited and controlled. It is an initiative based in the territory that works towards sustainability and respect for the natural, social, and economic environment of the region.
Among the measures that are proposed, always in a coordinated manner and in collaboration with the competent bodies, are: the restoration of sections deteriorated due to their natural and cultural value, the installation of obstacles and intensive signaling during the course of the races, warnings to the runners on the existence of sections of greater sensitivity through posters and volunteer work, or the attempt to reduce the number of attendees in the finish area, together with an assessment of certain logistical changes.
In this way, the organization of Penyagolosa Trails will continue working to guarantee the balance between minimizing the impacts on the surroundings of the Sanctuary and its maintenance as an emblematic point of this sporting competition; betting on awareness and dissemination around issues of good environmental conduct by all the agents involved.
About the opening of registrations
For reasons of safety, respect for the environment and quality, it is necessary to limit the number of participants. Registrations will be exclusively made by filling in the online form (www.localhost/penyagolosa). In this edition, the majority of participants will come from the registrants of the previous editions postponed due to the pandemic. Vacancies will be filled as follows:
Penyagolosa Trails MiM: only those pre-registered in the last draw who could not opt for a race number will have the option of confirming their number in a direct registration system, until the available vacancies are completed.
Penyagolosa Trails CSP: since all those pre-registered in the last draw have already had the option of a number, a direct registration system is established, until the available vacancies are completed.
The registration confirmation period will go from 7:00pm on 07/19/2021 until 7:00pm on 07/31/2021, or until the available vacancies are completed.