DOUG Richards, the globetrotting, running grandad and author from Redditch is off off on his travels again.
Doug, aged 70, who last year joined a very select club of fewer than 1,000 people worldwide who have run at least a half marathon on all seven continents, will soon be taking his trainers to Easter Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
“This will be a trail half marathon across the island,” said the Winyates resident, who has nine further island races lined up for 2019 in places like Venice, Cyprus and the Azores, with race distances varying from 5k to a full marathon and totalling 100 miles.
In the last 20 years Doug has raised more than £60,000 for various charities with his running adventures, and for 2019 he will be fundraising for International Animal Rescue.
“In the course of my running travels around the world, I have come in very close contact with some magnificent wildlife species in their natural surroundings,” he said.
“Yes, some elephants in South Africa did come a little too close for comfort, but we all lived to tell the tale.
“And I will never forget the peaceful close encounter and virtual ‘conversation’ we had with two giant humpback whales in Antarctica last year from a position of extreme vulnerability, as our small dinghy was half the size of each whale,” he added.
“I want my children, grandchildren and future generations to have the same opportunities as I have had and, like so many of us, I am saddened to see what we are doing to our planet and the wonderful wildlife we share it with,” he went on.
“Whether through cruelty, hunting or contamination and destruction of their environments, we risk losing so many beautiful creatures that future generations may never see in their lifetime.”
International Animal Rescue not only save animals from suffering, but also rehabilitate and release them back into the wild and work to protect their precious natural habitats.
To support Doug, please visit his fundraising page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/doug-richards7