Australian eyes record-breaking run of Israel National Trail

Adventure runner Richard Bowles aims to ‘sprint’ the 1,009-kilometer trail in just 12 days.

Australian eyes record-breaking run of Israel Trail

An Australian adventure runner is gearing up to make a record-breaking run in Israel on Wednesday (April 17) along the 1009-km Israel National Trail. Richard Bowles – an athlete and philanthropist – has announced that he will run over 80-km a day, in the hope of becoming the first person to complete the trail in just 12 days.

Seasoned hikers usually take 45 days, maintaining a pace of about 30 kilometers a day, to complete the trail.

Described as a hybrid of Bear Grylls and Forrest Gump, the Melbourne based runner hopes his journey from Eilat to Dan will set another record in the world of ultra-distance trail running. In 2012, he ran the world’s longest marked trail (5,330k National Trail, Australia) and a total of over 10,500 km on trails.

The National Geographic magazine described the Israel Trail as one of the world’s most ‘epic trails.’

“The trail less travelled offers the best adventures, and I’m all about challenging myself on a daily basis,” Bowles explained as to why he is choosing to run 80-km a day during his first visit to Israel.

Bowles said he is keen to meet with the communities through which the trail passes, and always takes the time to do so…even when running such huge distances each day.

“The highlight of the projects in 2012 was meeting people. Being welcomed into their homes, sharing stories over a meal, and enjoying the wonderful adventure that they had now become a part of,” he said.

Bowles’s ultra-marathon run will support the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) — the custodians of the Israel National Trail.

“Wonderful organizations such as SPNI make it possible for me and many others to fulfill dreams and explore the beautiful world we live in,” he said.

SOURCE, the Israeli outdoor equipment company, is sponsoring Bowles’ record run. The company saw a magazine photo of Bowles wearing one of their packs, made contact, and decided to bring the famous runner to Israel.

SOURCE will give daily updates of this amazing feat on its Facebook page. “If I’m not sleeping, I should be moving,” summed up Bowles in a promotional video.

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About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. She has jumped out of a plane, ducked rockets and been attacked by a baboon all in the name of a good story. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.