Mayor of Westhoughton ditches robes for running shoes
ROBES, gowns and chains have been ditched for shorts, trainers and a sweatband by the Mayor of Westhoughton.
Cllr Chris Peacock will be taking part in the gruelling Great North Run for charity in September.
The Labour councillor has set himself the target of raising an extra £1,000 for Bolton Hospice — his mayor’s chosen charity — by running the half-marathon on September 15.
Having not done any running for 14 years, Cllr Peacock admitted to feeling “nervously excited” when his name was drawn out of the ballot, but said the hours of training had been well worth the effort.
He added: “I’ve never been what you would call an athlete, but six or seven months ago, when I knew I was going to the Mayor of Westhoughton and I would have my chosen charity, I thought I’d put my name into the ballot.
“Up until six months ago I had not done any running since cross country at school, other than chasing the odd bus or train, so this has been a bit of a shock.”
Cllr Peacock has almost reached the stage where he can run 13 miles without stopping — but this has come at a local sacrifice.
“I’ve had emails from people who’ve spotted me running in Westhoughton and some have not been totally complimentary,” he said.
“One said I was red-faced and puffing, which was a bit much, but it’s all good-natured.
The opportunity to raise funds for Bolton Hospice was Cllr Peacock’s primary motivation, after his late father, who died from cancer in 2006, received “exceptional” care from them.
“One of the main reasons I accepted the mayor’s position was so I could nominate the hospice as my charity”, he added.
Cllr Peacock’s mum Deborah and partner Ruth — unusually named as joint mayoresses — have been inspirational in pushing Cllr Peacock out of the house to train.
Since becoming mayor, Cllr Peacock has raised about £1,000 for Bolton Hospice, a figure he hopes to double through the Great North Run.
Donations can be made at justgiving.com/CllrPeacock or via Westhoughton Town Council directly.
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