A former university lecturer on a dream trip to South Africa found himself running for his life from a herd of stampeding elephants.
Doug Richards stumbled during his escape and said he looked back to see the lead elephant "no more than 20 yards behind us, huge ears spread out and tusks waving wildly".
The 64-year-old added: "The rangers were yelling instructions to us to keep together.
"I was focused on leaping from boulder to boulder but could hear the elephants were getting closer as they ripped out small trees and bushes in their path."
Doug’s ordeal only ended when rangers in the game reserve where he was walking shot into the air to scare the six beasts away.
The former University of Birmingham lecturer’s scare happened as he prepared to run the Big Five half marathon in the wilds of Entabeni.
He was on a bush walk with eight other competitors, four from the USA and four from New Zealand, when the group followed elephant tracks down into a ravine, before turning to leave with apparently none of the animals around.
Doug said: "A large elephant suddenly emerged from the trees above us.
"It immediately began to react aggressively and our rangers signalled us to descend into the ravine as quickly as we could."
Doug’s run on June 23 raised more than £500 for the Royal Air Forces Association as his son, Chris, serves in the RAF.
"The race itself was a fantastic experience," he said.
"It was a privilege to run in such awesome surroundings with giraffes, zebra, and herds of wildebeest and antelope galloping across the plains.
"Fortunately we encountered no elephants, although we did pass a rhino and its baby with a nearby ranger keeping a watchful eye.
"Part of the course passed through ‘lion country’ although again the rangers had them under observation so could keep a safe distance."
Doug’s Just Giving page is open until September. Visit www.justgiving.com/bigfive to sponsor him.