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Senior citizens prep for MSC walkathon

Three days a week, a group of Manlius seniors put on their walking shoes and head toward the ponds for a workout. Why? They're training for a Walkathon for the Manlius Senior Center to be held in early fall. The event will take place on the Fayetteville-Manlius High School track.

Drs. Jerry and Joseph Rosney, a father/son team from TLC Chiropractic, are their trainers.

"We started [training] the beginning of June," said Dr. Jerry, who has seen significant improvements in his elderly athletes since then -- not only with distance, but also with pace and breathing patterns. "They can communicate with one another and they don't get out of breath."

Ann Sally, volunteer and head of the Manlius Senior Center Fundraising Committee, spawned the idea and became committed to making it happen.

"Basically, we're always bombarded by our grandchildren and our children to sponsor them whenever they're reading books, etc.," said Judy Dardzinski, also a volunteer who backed Sally's proposal. "So we decided to do it as a fundraiser and turn the tables on them."

Drs. Jerry and Joe arrive at the senior center every Monday, Wednesday and Friday just before noon. They walk with their trainees about 30 to 35 minutes each time.

"Many take it above and beyond our simply walking three days a week," said Dr. Joe. "They'll walk by themselves other days."

Participants' ages range anywhere from 60 to 90 with Shirley Egy taking the lead at a young 94 years old. Asked why she wanted to join?

"To get in shape," she said.

Egy said she's walked her entire life so the training has come "pretty easy." Dr. Joe commented on her commitment to the task: "She's religious about it. She shows up all the time."

Dr. Jerry donated pedometers to the team so each person could track their own progress. His son created a log to track their steps daily.

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