Diving suit will make heavy going of 10-mile Great South Run challenge

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FOR many, completing the 10 miles of the Great South Run is a big enough challenge.

But not for Chief Petty Officer Diver Ian Fleming – he will be taking part wearing a full diving suit weighing 200lbs.

And because of the colossal weight of the old-style suit, Ian will be splitting up the run over three days with the permission of the race’s organisers, Bupa,

The 48-year-old will start by doing five miles on Friday, October 26, four more on Saturday, and then finish the final mile on Sunday, along with the rest of the runners.

If all goes to plan, he hopes to cross the line with his colleagues from the diving school who will be taking part in a range of other diving kits from down the years.

The 10-person team from the Southern Diving Unit 2, based at Horsea Island, are aiming to raise £5,000 for the British Limbless Ex-Service Men’s Association (Blesma).

Ian, of Segensworth Road in Titchfield Common said: ‘I do something every year for charity, and this time I thought it would be a good idea to get a crowd of us doing it in diving kit through the ages.

‘Because it was my idea, I thought I had better take this one. It’s one of those things that seemed like a good idea at the time.

‘I’ve had a few talks with Bupa and they’re going to put up a start point for me on Friday morning in the same place as everyone else will start on Sunday to set me off.’

However, training in a helmet that weighs 50lbs, and boots that are another 22lbs apiece, has already proven difficult.

He said: ‘I did a mile in it the other day and it was hard going – even that took all the skin off the top of my feet. Apart from that it’s the normal training.

‘I’m under no illusions it’s going to be easy, but I’m stubborn and I’ll just grit my teeth. It’s like carrying another bloke around on your shoulders for 10 miles.

‘But I’m doing this for guys who are a lot worse off than I am, and that’s who I will be thinking of to help keep me going as well.’

Previous fundraising efforts have seen Ian dress as a giant duck for the Meningitis Trust in the London Marathon, riding from Lands End to John o’Groats in just eight days and a 65-mile run to mark the 65th anniversary of D-Day.

The kit Ian will be wearing has been loaned by Divex and the Diving Museum in Stokes Bay, Gosport.

To sponsor Ian go to 




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