Looking back: ISRAEL NATIONAL TRAIL FKT – Michael Wardian

One year ago, an epic journey came to an end, Michael Wardian ran the length of the Israel National Trail, starting in the south and finishing in the north. The journey completed in 10-days, 16-hours and 36-minutes for 630km.

Timely to look back at the journey, link to the daily reports and and once again re-live the experience.

VIEW A SLIDESHOW

HERE

As experiences go, documenting Michael Wardian running the Israel National Trail #fkt in March 2019 was a career highlight.
I am ever thankful to Zoli Bihari for the opportunity. We had the most epic 10-days chasing Mike the length of Israel. ‘Bluey’ was the perfect vehicle.
The terrain, landscape and the people magnificent.
The opportunity to create for Mike, run with him while capturing images and importantly, tell the story of the epic undertaking is something I can only dream to repeat.

DAY 1 FKT

“The landscape and scenery on day-1 is truly spectacular. Beauty comes at a price though – the trails are technical, have plenty of climbing and descending and then add some intense heat.”

 

READ THE DAILY REPORT HERE

DAY 2 FKT

“The highlight of the day came at Vardit and Barak Canyons. These natural wonders are truly spectacular, no, mind-blowing.”

 

READ THE DAILY REPORT HERE

DAY 3 FKT

“Mispe Ramon towards Mahmal Fort brought a conclusion to the day at 1900 hours. Mike, as the previous day, was robot like. He maintained a consistent pace. At no point did he say he was tired, on the contrary, at all times, he said, ‘I feel so good!’”

 

READ THE DAILY REPORT HERE

DAY 4 FKT

“Karbolet is known as the hardest and most challenging section of the whole Israel National Trail – it was stunning. It involved a long technical climb with rungs, exposure and technical sections. Once at the summit, the trail went up and down, mostly on angled slabs of rock. To the left, a drop to the valley below.”

 

READ THE DAILY REPORT HERE

DAY 5 FKT

“Day 5 or 6 are not the days to push over the edge, as a team, decisions will be made on day 7 on what is needed over the final couple of days. Mike is prepared for that and quite simply it may well come down to one or two very long days and then a big rest.”

 

READ THE DAILY REPORT HERE

DAY 6 FKT

“Today felt very different to the first 5-days. Not only because of the terrain but mostly due to the amount of support Mike received. Throughout the day runners joined him. At no point was he left alone.”

 

READ THE DAILY REPORT HERE

DAY 7 FKT

“A marathon was soon covered. Then 50km. At 61km Mike was still saying how good his legs were and at 73km darkness came and for the first time in the day he was alone on the trail. At 9:15pm, he had covered 89km at ‘Mitzpe Modiin’ and then he departed for a final leg to close out the day at 100km.”

 

READ THE DAILY REPORT HERE

DAY 8 FKT

“At Poleg Beach (16:47) disaster almost struck. Mike was freezing cold as the wind whipped in off the sea. Wrapped in blankets, he could not get warm. Adding layers including two jackets and woolly hat also didn’t seem to help.”

 

READ THE DAILY REPORT HERE

DAY 9 FKT

“For the final sections of the days trail, he had an entourage of runners, all keen to embrace an opportunity to say, ‘I was there!’ They left the final checkpoint at 2125, the final kms of the day would soon pass…”

 

READ THE DAILY REPORT HERE

DAY 10 FKT (Part One)

“He laughed and complained about his pathetic 4-mile per hour pace. ‘Dude, this sport is so funny. One minute you feel like you are being stabbed in the heart 50 times and then moments later, you can feel great. I love the depths this sport can take you!’”

 

READ THE DAILY REPORT HERE

DAY 10 FKT (Part Two)

“The small group of five left and `mike looked eager to be done with the final miles as soon as possible. Dropping down to river bed, climbing up and finally the running was good. in the night sky, the glow of ‘Qiryat Shemona’ and ‘Krar Gil’adi’ would eventually lead to the finish of the INT in ‘Dan.’”

 

READ THE DAILY REPORT HERE

Conclusion

I wrote one year ago…

“Sitting in Tel Aviv airport waiting for my flights home and I was trying to process the last 14-days with Mike, Zoli and the team. Israel, Mike and the INT has really made an impact.
For now a huge thanks for all the wonderful words, comments and support. This FKT would not have been possible without YOU ALL. Remember, in years to come, you will be able to say, #iwasthere”

Now, looking back I can say, #iwasthere

*****

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1 thought on “Looking back: ISRAEL NATIONAL TRAIL FKT – Michael Wardian

  1. Thank you for the great reminder of this amazing journey. Only one correction it should be 630 miles not kilometers 🙂
    Best regards and good health,
    Uri

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