Longest run on the Israel Trail takes off- 1009 Kilometers in 12 days

Richard Bowles

Starting today, April 17th, adventure runner and philanthropist Richard Bowles has started his run  along the 1009 kilometer (631 mile) Israel National Trail, described by National Geographic as one of the worlds most ‘epic trails’, winding its way from Eilat in the southernmost part of Israel to Dan in the North. Bowles rill run over 80 kilometers (50 miles) each day, and plans to arrive in just 12 days to the top of the trail in Beit Ussishkin (Scheduled for April 28th). 

Described as a hybrid of Bear Grylls and Forrest Gump, 35 year old Melbourne based adventure runner Richard Bowles is set to create another record in the world of ultra-distance trail running, in Israel, one of the most fascinating countries on the planet. 

Combining a passion for adventure, a love for running, and a determination to make a positive contribution to the places through which he runs, Richard and the team have chosen to support the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI), the leading environmental group in Israel and the founders and custodians of the Israel National Trail. Richard has called on you to join him and make a contribution to SPNI as his charitable partner. 

The project is sponsored by Source Outdoors, in cooperation with the SPNI, which initiated the Israel National Trail. Source Outdoors, an Israeli outdoor equipment company who discovered (from a magazine cover featuring Richard wearing the pack) Richard had chosen one of their backpacks to use throughout his 10,500 kilometers of trails in 2012.

Richard says 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”. Richard invites runners and supporters to get in contact and join in this fantastic project, history in the making.

The question most people ask is why would anyone want to run over 80km each day for 2 weeks? Richard explains, “The trail less travelled offers the best adventures, and I’m all about challenging myself on a daily basis”.

Supporters can follow Richard's run on his website, where he will share continuous updates as he runs each day.

Richard Bowle's 12 Day Journey

Richard began his run at the SPNI Eilat Field School, the southernmost point on the Israel National Trail. He has divided up the remaining sections into daily runs as follows:

Day 1: He will run from the Eilat field school to Shaharot (80 km)
Day 2: He will run to Tzofer (99 km)
Day 3: He will run to Mitzpeh Ramon (83 km)
Day 4: He will run to Nahal Ma'aleh (83 km)
Day 5: He will run to the Yatir Forest (93 km)
Day 6: He will run to Beit Govrin (81 km)
Day 7: He will run to Mesilat Tziyon (78 km)
Day 8: He will run to Tel Aviv (82 km)
Day 9: He will run to Furadis (95 km)
Day 10: He will run to Har Yona (78 km)
Day 11: He will run to Mt. Meron (91 km)
Day 12: He will run and conclude his journey at Kibbutz Dan (77 km) 

The Israel National Trail, dedicated in 1995, is an initiative of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel to create a walking trail along the entire length of Israel and is a registered trademark of SPNI. The trail starts in the Beit Ussishkin museum in Kibbutz Dan in the north and ends at the SPNI field school in Eilat. Its length runs approximately 1,000 kilometers (630 miles). The trail crosses through the Galilee, the Sea of Galilee, Nazareth Ilit, the Carmel Mountains, Zichron Ya'akov, along the Mediterranean coast to Ramat HaSharon, Petach Tikva, the entrance to Jerusalem, the Ela Valley, Beit Govrin, the northern Negev desert, Arad, the Dead Sea, the small Crater (Machtesh hakatan), the large Crater (Machtesh hagadol), the Ramon Crater, the southern Negev, the Ovda Valley, the Arava Desert, and finally to Eilat. 

Pictured above: Richard Bowles (right) sets off. Credit: Dov Greenblatt, SPNI Spokesperson