Leggett runs for a cause
For once, Porirua mayor Nick Leggett is worried he’s bitten off more than he can chew.
He will run from the council building in Hagley St in Porirua to Wellington Railway Station on July 13.
It ticks two boxes for him – promoting men’s health and pushing Porirua’s bid to get into the top five of the Gigatown race.
‘‘I said on Twitter if we got to sixth place by July I’d run to Wellington, and we got there. To say I’m nervous is an understatement,’’ he said.
The 20km run is via Middleton Rd through Johnsonville and down Ngauranga Gorge.
Leggett has done a lot of exercise since his gastric band operation in 2011 in an effort to keep the weight off, but said he was not naturally athletic.
‘‘For a lot of people it’s a struggle to stay fit and I’m not a gifted athlete. I have to work hard because I know what the pay-off is.’’
He completed a half- marathon recently, and is pounding the pavement and doing work on the treadmill in the lead-up to July 13. He anticipates the first 15km should be fine, but that he may struggle in the latter stages.
Leggett said he would likely have accompanying runners along the route and that there would be some sibling rivalry to spur him on.
‘‘My brother is coming into town [Leggett gets married a week after the run] and he’s a runner. There will definitely be some competition there.’’
The aim of spurring on Porirua’s Gigatown bid is close to Leggett’s heart.
Getting into the top five towns in the country by September will give Porirua the chance to win the fastest broadband in the southern hemisphere for three years.
Leggett said it would be great for residents’ internet use and could turn the city into a hot-bed of innovation, attracting high-tech companies and creating jobs.
He wants people on Facebook and Twitter to use the hashtag #Gigatownporirua during his run and regularly on social media to keep the campaign going. Porirua is 400,000 points behind fifth-placed Timaru, which has 1,106,108 points.
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Running man: Porirua mayor Nick Leggett was fitted with new shoes by Shoe Clinic owner Jeremy Boyd two weeks ago, in anticipation of his upcoming run.