IT may be almost 8,500 miles away, but the Redditch running community celebrated a double gold medal triumph on June 2 on the remote Easter Island in the South Pacific, famous for its giant Moai rock carvings.
Globe-trotting grandad, runner and author, Doug Richards, who celebrated his 71st birthday whilst on the island, was joined on this occasion by fellow Arrow Valley parkrunner and Redditch Foodbank volunteer, Clare Carmen.
In a multinational field of 69 half marathon runners from 11 different countries, Clare finished 21st in a time of 2:05:39 on a hot and very hilly route.
Clare was the fourth woman home and also won her age category, qualifying for a bonus gold medal to accompany her finisher’s medal.
Doug, who was the oldest runner in the field, finished 29th in a time of 2:17:14, and also stood on top of the podium at the post-race award ceremony, where he too was presented with his gold age-category medal.
“It was a wonderful experience to run in such a remote location,” he said.
“The local support was amazing, musical and very colourful. We had several days on the island and had plenty of time to visit the historic statues and other ancient sites before moving on to another amazing location, Machu Picchu in Peru, for some strenuous hiking.”
Doug was using the race to fundraise for the charity International Animal Rescue, which helps suffering animals and releases them back into the wild, as well as working to protect their natural habitats.
To support Doug, www.justgiving.com and key in doug-richards7