• Buffer
  • Sharebar
  • Buffer
jethro's picture

Running the Israel National Trail

Sometimes you get to meet the most amazing ordinary blokes. Richard Bowles is one of those quiet types, doesn't push himself forward, not brash or loud, yet there’s a quiet air of forcefulness and purpose about him. I guess running 84km a day for 12 days straight as he’s planning to do needs that.

I first met Richard last year as he was 2,500km into his running of the 5,330km Australian Bicentennial National Trail, or the BNT. He completed that in an amazing 5.5 months. First to do it. Raised awareness for SANE Australia charity.

2013-03-01 Rich Bowles 002I went out to the closest point on the trail to where I lived at Blackbutt and met Rich and Vicky, spent a lovely morning with them photographing them and sharing in their adventures for half a day. You can read that story here.

He backed up from the BNT with the Te Araroa national trail of NZ 3,054km of ruggedness that made the BNT look like a walk in the park – crocodiles not included. Record setting 64 days again.

And now he's off to do the Israel National Trail – with yet another record to be achieved. And this time its going to be an average of 84km a day for 12 days straight.

I interviewed Richard today over lunch and was really struck by the mans intensity, his purpose and his unquenchable desire to live in the moment, fully experience the surroundings and cast off the dross of life. To run on trails that are thousands of years old, where Jesus walked, that are steeped in history and meet all sorts of interesting people.

But as the video below will show there is a lot more work that goes on in the months leading up to the short 12 days of running that is a lot harder than running 84km a day for 12 days. Even just typing that hurts! Thinking about it hurts! Richard doesn’t shy away from the fact that it hurts either. But he’s a man that’s driven to succeed, and quitting just isn’t in his vocabulary.

The Interview

2012-07-02 Rich BNT 197So i went to have lunch with Richard as he was on a flying trip to Brisbane. Once I had picked him up and had him in the car I told him I was planning on interviewing him!

I recorded the interview on my phone and camera but not all of it got onto the video. So some of the questions and answers below are not in the video.

I asked Richard a bunch of really hard hitting serious questions, and got some equally serious (bulls&*t) answers.

I also trialled a new video technique where the person who is being interviewed has their thumb in focus but their face is half missing off in the distance. Fascinating watching their thumb talk. In part 2 I swapped this style for a more traditional (boring) “video the persons face” technique.


I interviewed Rich with tough questions like:

Dealing with fatigue and mental states

Q When you are fatigued, what does the tree look like?

A The tree is way more beautiful when you are fatigued.


Seriously though, its more about how when fatigued he focuses on what he's doing so much more intently, little droplets of water, trees, things around him take focus and how the other stuff in life becomes less. Richard really enjoys running in the bush, and out in the open spaces.

Equipment and safety

Q Was your GPS tracker tied to your hydration bladder?

A Obviously not – i lost it 25 km into the first day in NZ – no one noticed I was standing still for a long time.

2012-07-02 Rich BNT 175White water river crossings and high altitude

Q How do you cope with the dangerous river crossings?

A Crossed the Daintree waist deep with crocodiles – hoping they ate someone the day before and weren’t hungry.

Food and nutrition

Q What do you eat when running?

A Best thing I scored was a packet of Tim Tams in a rubbish bin at a hut.


Q Who's supporting you in Israel?

A “My Partner Vicki – that has lots of complications” breaks into nervous laughter and says “Love you!” suck up.

Language and Culture

Q Do you speak the same language?

A No she speaks shoes.


Ok so there’s more to it than than. Watch the video below.


Richard running circles around the Interviewer–literally

Oh not that one – that’s just silly

Here’s the real interview. Part 1

Will the real Richard Bowles please stand up

Part 2

yay its in focus

And here's the shoe collection and Richard posing a lot for the camera.

2012-07-02 Rich BNT 1122012-07-02 Rich BNT 2192012-07-02 Rich BNT 0662012-07-02 Rich BNT 194

jethro's picture

Some news while I am waiting for other things to happen

Sometimes i get time to wait – whether its waiting for a code procedure to run, files to upload or staff to complete a task. Often its easier to wait then it is to star al alternate jhob. Sometimes I multitask but this depends on what the other task is also and whether it can be left easily to come back tot he main one. Often I write emails.

Today I am publishing some links to interesting information on the web while waiting for a staff member to debug his code that I am checking. (Thanks Nick!)

imageAmit writes two tutorials for IE8; one titled How to Write an IE8 Web Slice for WordPress Blogs and the other titled Turn your RSS Feed into a Web Slice for Internet Explorer 8

I followed the instructions and have set up a webslice for SpyJournal. You can do the same.

My friend John’s dad passed away today. John has written some memories and tributes.

Joe has posted a review of the Samsung Instinct phone – looks very nice.

Check this video out. The Geeks are Sexy site has linked a video from [H] showing a .50 cal Amour Piercing Incendiary being shot at 18 hard drives. The bullet sticks in the 17th drive.

Google chrome is the least likely browser to be hacked. I am going to switch out from Firefox on all the kids PCS straight away. I have been using Chrome since it was released and love it.

Australian TV viewers using ICETV EPG this is an important notice regarding the new Digital Channel ONE HD.

jethro's picture

The Atkinsons are amazing! Real Live Preacher Goodies!

I just received an amazing package in the mail. Delivered to the door in fact. It had been kindly opened for us by Australian Quarantine – I think they thought we were hiding our cocaine in it. The smell of the chili would have confused the sniffer dogs no end.

Let me back track.

jethro's picture

The Weekend Wrap Up

IMG_2884I had a real great weekend. While Jude took herself off to art classes on Saturday morning I did some work while the kids played and cleaned. After locating a container with Chinese checkers marbles in it, I decided to make a Chinese checkers board. That’s harder than it sounds. After a bunch of maths and several false starts I finally had a board marked out with the correct number of spots. I then drilled all the holes using a countersink and then cut the board to an even square and routed the edges. Jude was home by this time so we all then played a game.

Sunday at church we sang the Michael W Smith song I’m desperate for you. The words in this are awesome. It made me think, about how we are desperate for air – so desperate we breathe all the time – try holding your breath and see how desperate you become when starved from air. the challenge for me is am I that desperate for God?

After church we headed off to Peter and Kitty’s engagement party. This was  real blast! There are some photos on my facebook account.

Sunday night we had a mini party here and then I worked again.