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Can We Run With You, Grandfather? Seven Continents: Seven Decades By Doug Richards

Release date: 27th October, 2018
Publisher: Pitch Publishing

List Price: 12.99
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In the early Spring of 2016, Doug Richards, a retired University of Birmingham lecturer boasting an enviable track record of academic publishing, saw his first sport-related tome, Running Hot & Cold, receive wholesale critical acclaim.

By his own admission, Richards was best described as ‘indifferent to exercise’, a condition of which he became increasingly aware. He took up running and, bitten by the fitness bug, made steady progress. Not exactly ‘hold the front page’ stuff, but as he began tackling longer distances, he explained how running had helped him address feelings of anxiety and depression, in addition to the trauma of marriage breakdown.

The book traced Doug’s efforts, from his first, faltering attempt at a mile to preparing for running an incredible 140 miles across the Sahara Desert. Running Hot & Cold took us to China, South Africa, Greenland and Sri Lanka, the author proving great company en route. He finished by proclaiming, “And the journey hasn’t ended yet.”

In this, his follow-up, Doug Richards carries on where he left off three-and-a-half-years’ ago. His enthusiasm for running and the benefits it bestow is even more infectious, but he could hardly be called ‘preachy’ as he pursues his dream of competing at least a half marathon on all seven continents before his 70th birthday. That’s right: Doug Richards has already completed three score years and ten.

“Don’t be afraid to scare yourself,” he writes with the authority of someone who could have meandered into late middle age and accepted life as a couch potato, but instead he decided upon another route, one which is open to almost all of us. It’s this message that makes Doug Richards so inspirational. He’s a regular, friendly guy who clearly enjoys his food and drink; he’s not a professional athlete, but someone who set his mind to do something and boy, has he succeeded.

Here, we see him tackling all manner of daunting challenges, including a run followed by a balloon trip in Myanmar (accompanied by a brilliant photograph), as well as races in New Zealand, Australia and Antarctica, while making friends the world over.

He is a great fan of the parkrun phenomenon and the physical and mental rewards getting involved will bring. After reading this book, the probability is you’ll be searching for details of a parkrun near you.

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