Equity, respect for other people and the environment, mutual aid and solidarity are the fundamental principles directing the organisation and the running of the Azores Trail Run®.
These are inspired directly from the values put forward by the International Trail Running Association (ITRA) amongst which we find authenticity, respect, humility and fair play.
We wish to share these principles with those, who participate in the Azores Trail Run®: runners, partners, volunteers, spectators and local inhabitants.
Being conscious that our events take place in a framework, which is at the same time both grandiose and fragile, the aim of this charter is to formulate clearly the benchmarks, which will act as the guideline for our behaviour and actions.
Trail running is at present experiencing important changes and the most perceptible are: a rising number of participants coming from an increasing number of different countries, a large diversity of motivations and profiles, more and more sensitive economic stakes, safety and the impact upon the environment. In this context of change, we consider that it is our responsibility to continue to promote it, through the largest number of values, which go beyond the sporting aspect itself, making Trail running a real human adventure.
It is the search for a just balance, based on impartiality, equality of chance benefiting all the runners and the recognition of the rights and duties of each of the players in the event (runners, volunteers, private and territorial partners, press and local population). Our races are organised to be of advantage to all without certain of them benefiting in a way, which may put others at a disadvantage.
Our races are open to everybody. Our rules are made for everybody and are applied identically to everybody. All the athletes have the same conditions, and they have the same rights and the same duties.
It is our responsibility to guarantee this principle of equity, to make the necessary controls and to offer the best possible race conditions to all the participants. We limit the zones where assistance is authorised so as not to penalise those runners who cannot benefit from it.
We ask the commissaires de course (race marshals) to ensure that the rules are respected throughout the race.
The reception of top-level runners is the object of pre-established rules, which do not disadvantage the other runners.
Our finisher’s gifts are distributed as fairly as possible between all the players according to their respective contributions to the event and we ensure that all the finishers are rewarded.
Respect for people
The Azores Trail Run® gathers enthusiasts from a large diversity of cultures, personalities or motivations.
To respect others, is to understand and to accept that they are different and to adopt the “know how” so as not to hamper them or bother them. It is also, to understand that the islands are places that possess its own culture and its own traditions.
We work permanently on high-quality organisation, we stay tuned to all and we always try hard to find answers.
We limit the numbers so as not to saturate the paths and to avoid hold-ups along the route, which could be harmful the quality of the races.
Each player makes a commitment to show respect and conviviality, towards the local population and towards every person in trails at the same time as them (other trail-runners, locals, mountain hut personnel, walkers…).
Respect occurs through sharing regulations, to which every player (runner, volunteer, partner, journalist, accompanying person) makes a commitment to understand and to respect.
We ask everybody not to cheat, under any circumstance, and to be an example of fair-play.
Respect for oneself
The practice of very long duration Trail-running carries risks and the search for performance and/or pleasure without limits.
A medical counsel takes care to optimise the medical follow-up of the runners, contributing this way to their good performance on the races, not allowing them to harm somehow their health, in a longer or shorter term or take risks that might compromise their own or the other participants’ safety.
We ask each runner:
to be particularly careful to take no doping products and not to resort, wrongly, to self-medication;
to inform the organisation’s Medical Counsel in case of use of a prescription subjected to a Therapeutic Use Authorisation (TUE);
to learn and to agree not to exceed one’s limits to the point of damaging one’s physical or mental integrity.
Respect for the environment
Our races take place in small islands, in the mountains and in the area of the natural parks. This is a fragile natural environment, in which it is necessary to protect the balance ensuing, both from biodiversity and from human activity.
Our event has to contribute to the general awareness of the fragility of the natural surroundings. We make every effort to reduce our impact. We also recognise with lucidity that there are inevitable impacts and we make a commitment to do all we can to rectify them.
The environment commission of the Natural Park identifies the risks engendered by the event and proposes concrete actions. We actively participate in the definition of rules for sustainable development and are careful to apply and improve their content. We encourage the use of the organization transport or car sharing. We ask collaborators from the natural parks to explain the rules within the nature reserves and to watch that they are respected.
We are trying to minimise to the maximum the environmental impact connected with our events, in particular by decreasing the volume of our impact and by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions connected to professional aerial transport.
We would like to invite you to improve your knowledge of the Azores, their ecosystem and fragilities, not to become an expert but to act with responsibility and awareness. We encourage you to minimise your impact on the environment through which you pass by adopting an as environmentally friendly attitude as possible:
drop nothing on the ground (including that we don’t see) in any area along the route (including in the inhabited zones);
do not shortcut the paths as this causes harmful erosion to the site;
preserve the flora, respect the fauna, and avoid making inappropriate noise;
to rigorously respect the rules of the nature reserves;
to balance the carbon emissions by participating in the tree plantation, avoiding motorised travel by favouring the use of the organization transport or the use of car sharing;
to visit museums and environmental centres.
The high regions of the islands could be a hostile environment, where man has learnt the rules of solidarity and to help each other so as to live and prosper there. For this reason we ask each player of the Azores Trail Run®, in whatever place or circumstance they are in, to make it their priority to go to help any other person in danger or in difficulty.
As organisers, we have the conviction that our solidarity also has to applied in a more global framework, and that it is our responsibility to help the most deprived. This conviction is based on the consciousness of our own privileges and our attachment to humanistic values.
To concretise this commitment, we favour united action and sustainable development, at the environmental, social and economic level.
We also encourage runners « to run for a cause » and to collect funds to benefit charitable associations, which they choose themselves, and we help to make their actions known.