Councillor to run marathon for charity

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Training gear . . . Councillor Aaron Hawkins will tackle the Queenstown half marathon to raise funds for Lifeline. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

He may come from “a long line of prop forwards” and he used to get puffed pushing a pram, but Dunedin City councillor Aaron Hawkins is putting his body on the line for Lifeline.

Cr Hawkins has signed up to run the half marathon in the Queenstown International Marathon event on November 17, and is training hard on the streets of Dunedin.

Alongside his training regime, Cr Hawkins is raising funds for Lifeline through online donations, with a target of $2000. So far, he has pledges totalling $1673.50.

The catalyst for Cr Hawkins to take on the challenge was reading a report from Lifeline, which showed that one in four calls it received went unanswered through a lack of resources.

“They don’t get any government funding and rely entirely on donations – and that is a scary prospect,” he said.

“It takes a lot for people in a dark place to pick up the phone and call for help, and if the call isn’t answered, we can’t guarantee that they will call again.”

Every $25 raised was another call that could be answered.

Cr Hawkins did a lot of athletics when was at primary school, then had a “fairly middling” schoolboy rugby career, before discovering less athletic pursuits.

He started training in August and has been making progressively longer runs, mostly around the Port Chalmers area, and some bike work.

“I’ve spent more time reading running blogs than I ever have, and it turns out that ‘rest days’ just means to do another type of exercise – which was something of a disappointment,” he said.

However, he was feeling “pretty good” so far.

“Of course, this project is not entirely selfless – my work life is fairly sedentary, so having something to force me out of the house and get moving is good.”

To give towards Cr Hawkins’ fundraising total, visit https://queenstownmarathonlifeline.everydayhero.com/nz/running-for-your-lifeline#