A 50-year-old ex-soldier from Lisburn plans to don army boots and shoulder an 80lb pack to run non-stop for 24 hours, in aid of the NSPCC.
Raised at Low Road and now living in the Dromara area (he has family connections to Kinallen) - father-of-seven Ian Dickson is also promising a job in one of his proposed new Lisburn boot-camps to anyone who can complete the challenge with him.
“I’ve never failed in anything I’ve ever done,” he said, vowing he didn’t mean to start now.
“I could run from here to the end of the world if I had to.”
Of his chosen charity, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, he said: “There were 167 young suicides last year alone; sometimes young people just don’t see a way forward.
“So many children in the country suffer abuse and they deserve a lot better.”
Ian means, from 8am on June 10, to run for 24 hours non-stop around the Lagan riverside walk at Dromara.
By so doing he hopes to raise an ambitious £10,000 in charity cash.
“I’ll be running with 80lbs on my back and wearing boots, not trainers,” he said. “Anytime I go for a run, I run in boots.”
Brought up in the army, as he described it, from the age of 16, Ian explained he saw service with the Royal Marine Commandos in the Falklands, Bosnia and Afghanistan, among other places.
These days he’s turning his military background to the task of helping civilians shape up, courtesy of ‘Cobra Coy’ Military Fitness.
He claims: “I can turn someone at 22 stone into 10 stone of muscle in six to eight weeks, in such a way that people can enjoy it.
“It’s the only way that works and it has worked for years.”
As he pursues his goal of establishing two, entirely self-built, military-style boot-camps in Lisburn, Ian has been working, he says, with local community groups and pursuing projects involving schools and youth organisations from all sides of the community.
Of next month’s charity challenge, he added: “I’m trying to get as many people as possible to take on the run with me, to get a team of people to do it.
“ And whoever can do it with me, I’ll give them a job in the new boot-camp.”