After plowing through 1,009 kilometers of the deserts, mountains and forests
that highlight the Israel Trail, English- Australian ultra-marathoner Richard
Bowles only wished that his journey could have been a little longer.
feel great actually,” Bowles told The Jerusalem Post over the phone on Thursday
afternoon from Kibbutz Dan, just after he completed his run. “It’s nice to be
here. I’m almost a little bit disappointed that it’s come to an
Starting at the Eilat Field School on April 17, Bowles had planned
to complete the entire trail in 12 days. Along the way, however, his body had
other plans for him, when a foot infection began to pain him on April 25 – day
nine of his expedition. After continuing about 60 kilometers the next day
despite the infection, Bowles consulted with physicians and realized he would
need to take a week off from running to allow the infection to
Although disappointed, Bowles was undeterred, and he spent the week
relaxing in Tel Aviv before continuing his run on Sunday, May
Excluding the time he was forced to pause due to his infection, Bowles
completed the trail in 15 days, averaging 67 kilometers per day. All the while,
he was accompanied by staff from his partner organization, the Society for the
Protection of Nature in Israel, and he received funding for the run from Israeli
sports gear firm Source Outdoor.
While Bowles said he enjoyed the
beautiful scenery that he wove through on foot, he praised the people of Israel
themselves for making Israel “an extraordinary country.”
That being said,
Bowles did have some particularly favorite sites along the way as
“I really liked the very northern part of the desert because it’s
so much more rugged than the south,” he told the Post. “It takes a few days to
appreciate what it is – otherwise it just looks like sand.”
to this portion of the desert, Bowles said another standout portion of the trail
was his entrance into the Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) region, when “you can
see the lake below and the valley.”
“The whole trail is amazing,” he
Last year, Bowles became the first person to run the world’s
longest marked path, a 5,330- kilometer route on Australia’s Bicentennial
National Trail, a journey he completed in fiveand- a-half months. In December
2012, Bowles completed an 84-day, 3,054-kilometer run on Te Araroa (“The Long
Pathway”) in New Zealand.
Before he departs from Israel, the
ultra-marathoner will be delivering a lecture on Sunday at 7 p.m. at the Abraham
Hostel in Jerusalem about his overall experience running here and around the
world and simply “what makes me tick,” he said.
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