Israel Trail runner Bowles back on his feet

Tourism minister to Aussie athlete: ‘I hope you to get to know an important and beautiful part of Israel – the warm people within.’

RICHARD BOWLES running 370 (photo credit: Dov Greenblatt/SPNI)
RICHARD BOWLES running 370
(photo credit: Dov Greenblatt/SPNI)
After taking a seven-day running hiatus due to a lingering foot infection, English- Australian ultramarathoner Richard Bowles took to the Israel Trail once again on Sunday – determined to complete the remaining 400 kilometers of the route by the end of the week.
Bowles had begun his Israel Trail run on April 17 at the Eilat Field School of the Society of the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) – his partner organization for the run – and had aimed to complete the entire length of the 1,009-kilometer trail within 12 days. His body, however, did not cooperate, and Bowles began feeling the pain of a foot infection on day nine of his run that ultimately caused him to pause his race.
Unwilling to surrender to the pain at first, Bowles continued 60 kilometers the next day and stopped between Elad and Petah Tikva, when he realized the injury had become much more severe.
After a day of rest on Saturday, April 27, the runner consulted more physicians on Sunday, who advised him to take a week off in order to allow for proper recovery from the infection.
Bowles picked up his run on Sunday at the place where he had paused the week before, accompanied by his girlfriend, Vicky Saunders, his equipment driver Tzachi, an SPNI representative and Yair Perry of Source Outdoor, the Israeli sporting goods firm sponsoring his run. The runner said he intends to finish the trail within four or five days, ending up at SPNI’s Beit Ussishkin Museum of Nature in Kibbutz Dan.
Last year, Bowles became the first person to run the world’s largest marked trail, a 5,330-kilometer route on Australia’s Bicentennial National Trail, a journey he completed in five-and-a-half months. Prior to that run, Bowles completed a 84-day, 30,054-kilometer run on Te Araroa (“The Long Pathway”) in New Zealand, in December 2012.
While forced to take his week-long pause from the Israel Trail, Bowles met with Tourism Minister Uzi Landau on Tuesday, who presented the runner with a certificate of goodwill in tourism.
“I hope that the temporary pause that was forced on you will enable you to get to know an important and beautiful part of Israel – not only its beautiful landscape but also the warm people within it,” Landau told Bowles. “It is an honor for us that you specifically chose the Israel Trail as a destination for your run.”