Leg infection stalls Aussie's Israel Trail run

Ultra-marathoner suspends completion of 1,009 km. run due to hospitalization, foot infection.

Super sprinter Richard Bowles 370 (photo credit: Vicky Sanders and Jessica Parker)
Super sprinter Richard Bowles 370
(photo credit: Vicky Sanders and Jessica Parker)
After 10 days of running through predominantly desert, ultra-marathoner Richard Bowles was forced to take a break from his complete Israel Trail run on Friday afternoon.
Melbourne-based Bowles, 34, was slated to finish the 1,009- kilometer Israel Trail, from Eilat to Kibbutz Dan, in the span of 12 days, covering 83 to 84 kilometers each day.
A leg infection, however, has necessitated at least a temporary rest period for the runner after he finished 600 kilometers.
“An infection in my left foot has disabled me from continuing and I need to stay off it,” Bowles said. “It is very frustrating because my body feels great, I have no problems in my muscles or my legs and I do not feel tired – even though I continuously ran hundreds of kilometers, I am totally ready to finish the run, but I had to stop because of the foot infection.”
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.
Before that run, Bowles completed an 84-day, 3,054-kilometer run in December 2012 on Te Araroa: The Long Pathway in New Zealand.
Bowles is currently sponsored by Israel-based sport equipment firm Source Outdoor and is partnering with the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel – the organization responsible for the Israel Trail.
On Thursday and Friday, after an emergency room doctor in Jerusalem drained the infection and provided Bowles with antibiotics and pain killers, he ran 80 kilometers, starting in Ein Kerem and nearly reaching Petah Tikva, according to SPNI.
But on Friday afternoon, the pain forced Bowles to stop. He rested all day Saturday, after which he will decide about continuing the run, the organization said.