It’s finally a non-election year for Boston City Councilor Matt O’Malley, but the 32-year-old wants to continue running – literally.
O’Malley announced this week he plans to start holding “Office Hours on the Run” for his constituents in District 6 who want to discuss local issues while running, or briskly walking, alongside him.
A frequent runner who has completed five Boston Marathons and one Marine Corps Marathon over the past 11 years, O’Malley, the youngest City Councilor, plans to start the healthy, on-the-go sessions in September, five days before he turns 33.
He stressed that, despite his marathon participation record, he’s not all that speedy and is not someone who is intimidating to run with.
“I’m very much a Clydesdale,” he said in a phone interview Wednesday. “I’m slower, but I have endurance and can go the distance.”
He all are welcome, no matter their age, ability or fitness level.
“We can run or take a brisk walk,” the councilor said in a statement. “The idea is to get people outside and on the move while addressing some of the important issues facing our neighborhoods.”
“I thought it was time to get outside and work off some of those pastries and bagels while talking about residents’ concerns,” O’Malley’s statement added. “It’s a great opportunity to get some exercise while taking a closer look at what’s going on around the communities of District 6.”
He said he plans to continue the sit-down monthly office hours he has held at coffee shops and restaurants in Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury, two city neighborhoods he represents in addition to parts of Mission Hill and Roslindale.
O’Malley’s first in-motion office hours are scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 15 from 8 to 9 a.m., starting from the West Roxbury YMCA’s Quinn Way entrance.
From there, he said the route will be determined by constituents who attend.
“Show me the potholes, the sidewalks that need repair, and the traffic trouble spots,” O’Malley’s statement said. “Let’s talk about how to get these problems addressed.”
The councilor has partnered with the Parkway Running Club for the first installment of “Office Hours on the Run.”
During October, O’Malley plans to hold another running office hour session in Jamaica Plain.
He said by phone that he hopes to hold the monthly running sessions year-round, but continuing the effort depend on how successful the turnouts are. He said the events will be canceled or postponed if severe weather is forecasted.
During the past decade, O’Malley has done a lot of physical and political running.
O’Malley ran unsuccessfully for an At-large City Council seat twice, in 2003 and 2005.
In fall 2010, O’Malley beat out four others in a special election race to win the District 6 council seat. One year later, O’Malley had to run again, though unopposed, to keep that seat and earn his first full two-year term.
With his seat up for grabs again next year, 2012 is the only year within a four-year span in which O’Malley will not have to run an election campaign.
This past spring, he completed the Boston Marathon. He also ran the Hopkinton-to-Boston route in 2010, 2009, 2004 and 2003.
In October 2001, he ran the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. It was his first marathon.
O’Malley said he remembers that marathon being “very emotional” as he ran alongside military members on a route that brought participants close to the Pentagon, one of the sites attacked a little more than a month beforehand on 9/11.
E-mail Matt Rocheleau at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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