IT may be almost 8,500 miles away, but the Redditch running community celebrated a double gold medal triumph recently on the remote Easter Island in the South Pacific Ocean.

Globe-trotting grandfather, 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 multi-national field of 69 half marathon runners from 11 different countries, Clare finished in 21st position in a time of 2:05:39 on a hot and very hilly route.

Clare was the fourth lady to finish and also won her age category, qualifying her for a bonus gold medal in addition to her finisher’s medal.

Doug, who was the oldest runner in the field, finished in 29th position in a time of 2:17:14, and also stood on the number one podium at the post-race award ceremony, where he was also presented with his gold age-category medal.

“It was a wonderful experience to run in such a remote location,” said Doug.

“The local support was amazingly enthusiastic, 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 International Animal Rescue, a charity that saves animals from suffering, and also rehabilitates and releases them back into the wild, as well as working to protect their precious natural habitats.

To support Doug, please visit his fundraising page at