AN intrepid Redditch grandfather who retired as a university lecturer last year, takes on his latest running challenge on Saturday, June 23, when he participates in the Big Five half marathon in South Africa’s Entabeni Game Reserve.

Doug Richards, who completed the Rome marathon last month, has previously finished endurance events in Morocco’s Sahara Desert, China, Sri Lanka, Jordan and Siberia.

Mr Richards said: “The main challenges of this race will be the tough terrain and the fact that no fences or rivers will separate the runners from the African wildlife.

“The Big Five refers to lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhinoceros, but there are plenty of other animals in the reserve that I would hope to avoid, and it certainly provides a good incentive to keep on the move.”

As with his previous adventure runs, Mr Richards will be raising money for charity and this time has chosen the RAF Association (RAFA), which is dedicated to supporting serving and former RAF personnel and their families, whether it's an injured airman fighting to get back onto his feet, a young daughter missing her parent away on overseas operations, or a Second World War veteran needing a shoulder to lean on.

“With my own son currently serving in the RAF, I am only too aware of the fantastic work done by RAFA, who receive no direct government funding, and thus rely on the generosity of the public,” added Mr Richards.

“If you wish to support my efforts to help give the RAF family of the past, present and future the support they truly deserve, then please visit”