Royal Navy divers to tackle Great South Run challenge in their bomb suits

READY TO RUN Chief Diver Ian Fleming and Lt Cdr Al Nekrews are to take on the Great South Run
READY TO RUN Chief Diver Ian Fleming and Lt Cdr Al Nekrews are to take on the Great South Run
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JUST getting round the Great South Run is a challenge for most people.

But two navy divers are to make it even harder by competing in full bomb protection gear.

Chief diver Ian Fleming and lieutenant commander Al Nekrews, of Cosham, Portsmouth, will pull on bomb suits weighing 70lbs each to raise money for British Limbless Ex-Servicemen’s Association.

The men from the navy’s bomb disposal unit, based in Portsmouth, will line up alongside everyone else on October 30 in the Mark6 explosive ordnance disposal suits.

Chief Petty Officer Fleming, of Segensworth Road in Titchfield, said: ‘There’s a lot of servicemen getting blown up and losing limbs.

‘It’s affecting a lot of military personnel and the more money we can raise for Blesma, the more we can help them.

‘Obviously we don’t want to knock them, but a lot of money and resources goes to Help for Heroes these days and away from other charities.

‘I’ve done things for Help for Heroes, but I want to spread it around.

‘What’s being done specifically for these guys losing limbs isn’t so well publicised.

‘There’s a lad who was in the dive school who got his legs blown off.

‘It’s completely life changing – they’ve got to get on with their lives somehow. Some stay in the military, some don’t and Blesma supports them all.’

The 47-year-old is no stranger to challenging running conditions.

He took part in the 2006 London Marathon dressed as Monty the Duck, the Meningitis Trust’s mascot.

And in 2009 he ran 65 miles, recreating the route of the gliders that took part in the Pegasus Bridge D-Day operation on foot to help raise £500,000 for veterans.

He added: ‘I’ve not been out running in the suit yet, but it’s designed to protect you, it’s not designed for running in.

‘When you are out doing tasks in it you do tend to overheat so we’re going to have to take in a lot of fluids.

‘It’s going to be much more difficult than the duck suit ever was. It’s not going to be easy, but those guys who are losing limbs, it’s not easy for them either.’

They aim to raise £5,000 for the charity.

To support them in their bid go to