A SOUTHAMPTON dad has undertaken the first leg of a three part endurance challenge that he has taken on this year.

Keith Diaper from Hedge End is a keen multi-sports and endurance athlete.

He regularly sets himself endurance challenges to be carried out across a year.

He is calling this year's challenge 3sixty, referencing how many hours he will spend on the challenges.

The first challenge, which he has now completed, was to swim as far as possible non-stop in 12 hours.

He swam from 8am to 8pm at David Lloyd Southampton West, completing 1280 lengths, or 17.5 miles.

"It was a tough challenge physically and mentally, but I was helped along by all the support from friends and family throughout the day," said the 42-year-old electrician.

"This was the first part of a three part challenge to raise awareness and funds for the Hypermobility Syndromes Association (HSA), as my wife has one on the conditions they cover, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS)."

The next two parts of this year's challenge are to attempt to run 100 miles in 24 hours in June, as part of the Endure 24 event, and then for Keith to cycle as far as he can round Brands Hatch in 24 hours in September as part of the Revolve 24.

He is hoping to raise between £1,500 and £2,000 for the HSA from this year's challenges. In 2017, he completed 52 middle distance triathlons in 26 weekends, raising some £5,500 for the charity.

Keith's wife Pippa was diagnosed with EDS around four years ago.

The condition causes Pippa's joints to dislocate several times a day, and leaves her in constant pain, which can be so debilitating that it makes her sick.

"After many visits to specialists over an almost three year period, Pippa was finally diagnosed with EDS," says Keith.

"Following this we came across the HMSA’s website. Everything my wife was going through was listed along with lots of resources to help her cope.

"By teaming up with the HMSA my mission is to bring wider awareness of their work and the conditions suffered by so many.

"I know we currently can’t cure this condition but we can educate people.

"If my challenge helps people who are in the situation my wife found herself in, then it would be worth it. Any funds we raise along the way will help the HMSA with their work, which covers research, support and education."

To sponsor Keith, visit www.keithdiaper.co.uk