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Ponta Delgada ,  February 23, 2017

2nd Columbus Trail to take place Saturday on Santa Maria, with more than 140 athletes from 10 countries

The island of Santa Maria hosts the second edition of Columbus Trail next Saturday, February 25. This trail run event is organised with the approval of Azores Train Run and Azores - Certified by Nature, involving the participation of more than 140 athletes from 10 countries. It evokes the presence of Christopher Columbus on the island.
Organised by the Azores Trail Run in partnership with the Regional Directorate for Tourism, the competition is divided into three events, including the Grand Trail (77 Km), the marathon (42 Km) and the Half Marathon (22 Km); the latter is being held for the first time in 2017.
The winners of the latest edition of Triangle Adventure, held on the islands of Faial, Pico and São Jorge, are among the athletes participating in the competition.
The French athlete Thibaut Baronian and Austrian athlete Sandra Koblmüller will now make their debut on Santa Maria's trails, which are quite different from their experience in Triangle event.
The competition will include the participation of Polish athlete Kamil Leśniak. He was the winner of the Blue Island Trail Endurance in 2016, the main route of the Azores Trail Run that will take place on Faial in May.
With regard to Portuguese athletes, the event features the participation of Armando Teixeira, one of the best ultramarathon runners in Europe; he won the 2015 edition of Triangle Adventure.
In addition, the ACE team - Acabar com Estilo will also take part in the competition. The team is composed of humorist Pedro Pacheco Fernandes, chef Kiko Martins, actor Miguel Costa and musician Diogo Dias.
The Columbus Trail runs in the low tourism season. Nevertheless, it has a major impact on the community of Santa Maria. The local population, little over 5,500 inhabitants, enjoys the benefits brought by the organisation of this kind of sports events. Santa Maria is consolidating itself as a privileged place for the promotion of this activity.
Each of the three routes of the Columbus Trail has a special beauty. They are challenging for athletes due to their technical features insofar as Santa Maria, being the oldest island of the Azores with its peculiar geology, has landscape features that differ from the rest of the archipelago as well as a specific climate.
The departure to the Grand Trail and Marathon is scheduled at 8 AM near Fort of São Brás in Vila do Porto, while the athletes participating in the Half Marathon depart at 2 PM from the Chapel of Fátima in São Pedro.
The first edition of the competition, held last year, was featured about 80 participants. Austrian athlete Tom Wagner was the won the Grand Trail, while the English athlete Tom Owens won the 42-Km race.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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