Perry Officer First Class Mike Hales

Navy divers pack on pounds for fundraising turkey trot

Running for six hours can be a tough day, but with a 100-pound bomber suit it’s gruelling.

Running for six hours can be a tough day, but with a 100-pound bomber suit it’s gruelling.

Petty Officer First Class Mike Hales, in the Fleet Diving Unit gears up for his fourth round of the unit’s annual Turkey Run, Nov. 30.

“It’s always hard, but as you get older it just gets harder,” said the 40-year-old. “Running in the bomber suit sucks, it’s the least desirable. You can only run for a little bit in it. Just running all day in a regular outfit it hard enough.”

About 40 divers from the unit will run to raise money to fill West Shore Christmas hampers with meat gift certificates again this year.

They begin the 35-kilometre run at the Colwood base and travel along Ocean Boulevard, through Belmont Park, down Sooke Road to Jacklin Road. The divers will stop at Original Joe’s for lunch before continuing on to Goldstream Avenue to Peatt Road and Veterans Memorial Parkway to Millstream Village and back to the base.

The runners alternate the equipment each is wearing as they run. The most heavy is the 100-pound bomber suit, followed by the 40-pound rebreathers and 30-pound helmets. The big, white Fleet Diving Unit bus accompanies them so participants can catch their breath or get a snack during the six-hour fundraiser.

“We get tons of support,” said Hales, adding many businesses in the community offer donations long before the run occurs.

Already the unit has collected $6,000.

Last year the run netted $22,000, well exceeding the $15,000 goal.

The target remains $15,000 this year, the amount required to supply a turkey or ham for all 650 Christmas hampers on the West Shore.

“Any extra goes towards purchasing gift cards for toys for the children,” said Navy Lt. Walter Dubeau, training officer with the dive unit.

In the first three years of the event the Fleet Dive Unit has raised $51,000 for the hamper fund.

“The Turkey Run is able to provide a turkey for every hamper we give out,” said Gayle Ireland, president of the West Shore Christmas Hamper Fund. “We really appreciate all they do for the community.”

The Fleet Dive Unit’s fourth annual Turkey Run is Nov. 30 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Hot dog sales are planned for Everything Wine at Millstream Village, 131-2401C Millstream Rd., and the Belmont Park Fire Hall, Building No. 2 Belmont Rd. with Fleet Dive Unit items and information on display from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Province buys Paul’s Motor Inn to house Victoria’s homeless population

Inn is the second hotel the province has purchased to support vulnerable community

Telus headquarters to come to Victoria in ‘landmark building’ development

City sells land on coroner of Douglas and Humboldt streets for $8.1 million

Victoria man identified as victim in Thunder Bay murder

Police investigating after Paul Vivier, 29, discovered in hotel

Fire at Victoria hotel contained to one room, leaves 20 suites in need of remediation

Fire crews extinguished the blaze at the Comfort Inn in 12 minutes

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Friendly Cove and Kyuquot will remain closed until further notice

Transition of other B.C. communities will be monitored before a decision to ease restrictions

Gold River organizes a shop local initiative to creatively boost economy

Local purchases can earn shoppers $200 gift certificates to be spent on businesses within Gold River

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit arrived as whale broke free from prawn trap line

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Most Read