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.

Just Posted

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Tour Government House and other homes, enjoy art along the way

The Art Gallery’s 66th annual House Tour features artists at work, artistic floral displays

Colwood square dancing open house to welcome in new dancers

“It’s therapy,” said long-time square dancer Linda Townsend

Green candidate expects a tight race in Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke

David Merner says Green Party would act as “strong moral conscience” in a minority Parliament

Christian bookstore’s Victoria location marks 80 years in business

The store opened on corner of Douglas Street, View Street in 1939

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

Most Read