Flinders on Foot: expedition run

TrailRunMag 01.04.2014

images (1) Renowned for running some of the longest marked trails on earth, ultra runner Richard Bowles  has announced his next project: to run South Australia’s 1200km-long Heysen Trail.

Starting on Sunday 4th May 2014, Richard will run an average of 85km each day (two marathons) along South Australia’s ancient backbone, tracking south down the rugged Flinders Range all the way to the coast, following the famed Heysen trail route.

The Melbourne based adventurer has already run the length of several long-distance hiking trails. In 2012 he ran “The World’s Longest Marked Trail” (5,330km National Trail, Australia) where he crossed crocodile infested waters, encounter packs of wild dogs and had a shotgun pointed in his face by an angry farmer.  RunBNT-0512 (2) He followed that with New Zealand’s Te Araroa Trail at another 3,054km; crossing both islands through avalanche zones, ice cold white water rapids and fickle weather that saw him tumble down a mountain side, both runs seeing him become the first to run the entire trail.

2013 saw him concur the dry and arid Israel National Trail at 1,009km while suffering with a foot infection in the desert. Followed by becoming the first to run around the base of an exploding volcano, in Northern Sumatra, with a shower of volcanic ash, closing out his year.

In 2014 Richard will create another “World First” back on Australia soil. The project is funded and supported by Nixon Communications who supply reliable clear communications solutions in remote and non-remote environments. They will play a key role in the safety of this project through runner and support communications as well as bringing all the action to the world with the access of internet and phone reception from remote parts of the trail.

images (2)“For the first time my followers will not have to wait a day or two for updates, they can follow it as it happens,” says Richard.

British-born Richard is determined to make a positive contribution to the country he calls home, on this expedition supporting Indigenous Health promoters Red Dust Role Models in its delivery of innovative health promotion programs in partnership with remote communities. The Healthy Living Program encourages Indigenous youth to learn more about health and inspire them to live a healthy lifestyle.

“I believe health is a basic human right,” says Richard. “Red Dust states it is essential to the social development of Indigenous people in remote communities. Health promotion strategies improve and transform lives and have a sustainable impact on social, economic and environmental conditions. Health promotion is a practical approach to achieving greater equality and closing the gap.”

imagesRichard says he is keen to meet with the communities through which the trail passes, even when running such huge distances each day.

“The highlight of all my projects is the people that I meet and impact on the way, I have been welcomed in to people homes, sharing stories over a meal and enjoying the wonderful adventure which they had now become part of.”

Rich’s Charity Partners:
Red Dust Role Models
Healthy lifestyle promotion in remote indigenous communities

Friends of the Heysen
Not-for-profit organisation the Friends of the Heysen Trail maintains the Heysen Trail