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Welcome to the OFFICIAL 'About The Author' page of:

Doug Richards


Hi. I’m a retired University of Birmingham lecturer with a passion for running. I’ve also had to battle through several episodes of anxiety and depression during my life and have found running to be a real benefit to overcome these.  Running Hot & Cold is my first venture into popular non-fiction and tells the story of how I got started and where the incredible journey has taken me. 


AUTHOR: Doug Richards

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Running Hot & Cold

Running Hot & Cold
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Doug Richards is a retired medical researcher and lecturer with a passion for running and travel. Running Hot & Cold is the story of how he discovered running relatively late in life, how it helped him through some difficult personal times and how it led him to run in may parts of the planet and in some of the most extreme of climatic conditions. Doug has written for Runners World and regularly gives inspirational talks on his running adventures to clubs, groups and societies. Doug can be contacted through his website


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It’s now a common sight to see people of all ages and abilities running through our towns, parks and rural areas; but it can still be surprising where the running journey can take us. Doug Richards was indifferent to exercise until, approaching his middle years, he became increasingly aware of his declining fitness. So Doug took up running. Rather slowly at first; but he made incredible progress. 




Follow Doug’s journey – overcoming modern-life obstacles including a marriage breakdown, work-related stress, anxiety and depression – from that very first one-mile run to marathons at home and abroad. And so on to wider and wilder horizons.




How do you prepare for running 140 miles across the Sahara Desert? How does a bus-pass bearing pensioner stay upright running Greenland’s polar ice-cap? Read of confrontation with elephants in South Africa, puddles in the desert in China and the emotional rollercoaster of running in tsunami-ravaged Sri Lanka.




Running Hot & Cold is the inspirational and motivational story of Doug Richards’ late entry into the world of running – and, boy, has Doug made up for lost time…


  • Running Hot & Cold shows how running can be useful in breaking down barriers – mental, physical, geographical and stereotypical.

  • The book is an inspiration to runners of all ages and abilities, and both sexes. By starting small and slowly building up to greater targets, amazing feats can be achieved.

  • A medical lecturer’s cool and lucid feedback on the pleasure, the pain and therapeutic value of the open road – and the insanity of taking on the desert!

  • The more daunting the challenge, the more hazardous the terrain and the climate, the more attractive the project is to Doug.

  • Up close and beautiful descriptions of the Sahara, Siberia, Sri Lanka and Africa.

  • When all your friends and neighbours, your doctors and even the voice inside your own head tell you you’re mad to drive your body to increasingly agonising limits – that’s when to take on global marathons and super marathons. If you’re Doug…



Alan Hitchcock

REVIEW – “RUNNING HOT AND COLD” by DOUG RIHARDS I found this book almost unputdownable. Yes, I agreed with all Doug’s friends and neighbours, his doctors and even the voice inside his own head who all told him he was mad to drive his body to increasingly agonising limits on his global marathons and super marathons. Yet the narrative explained coolly and lucidly how someone could find such actions a necessity. Most of us would not contemplate putting our bodies through these tortures, but here we have a dramatic account of what, when your whole body pleads with you to give in, might still urge you to complete the challenge. Indeed it seems that the more daunting the challenge, the more hazardous the terrain and the climate, the more attractive the project is to Doug. Besides accounts of the many obstacles, expected and unexpected, which Doug encounters and obstinately, ingeniously overcomes, on his world wide “travails” there are many additional pleasures in this book. There are up close and beautiful descriptions of the Sahara, Siberia, Sri Lanka and Africa where he encounters the elephants whose rampage opens the book – and almost closes it. There are the close friendships to study, forged in a mutual struggle with the vagaries of nature, and heartwarming encounters with people in their local communities on many continents. We are also invited to witness a life. Doug takes us back to his childhood before he ever thought of running and we follow him through his life, with all its interests, its plans, sudden reversals and coincidences driving the action forward. The book delivers an overwhelmingly positive message that what most plagues you in life may be turned into a challenge and indeed a huge advantage to yourself and others. Highly recommended.

Lucy Anderson

The best running book I've read so far, very well written, a real page turner. If your a runner or a traveller you will find this book fascinating. Really inspirational. Beautifully written, it makes you feel your running with him, taking part in every race. The descriptions of the many locations are wonderfully descriptive. Felt sad when I finished it so i started reading it again. Hoping for a sequel.



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