Cunny, 92, says keeping on the go key to quality of life

Published 9:26 am Thursday, October 27, 2016

Staying active throughout life is important for the quality of life a person has.

Bob Cunny, 92, was the oldest participant in the Over the River Run hosted by the Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation Oct. 8, completing the 5-mile walk in 1:19:38.

He has competed in the walk Over the River and the Run Thru History 5k walk for years.

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“I’ve been doing it for so long, I can’t remember when I started,” Cunny said, but he is pretty sure he has participated each year of the Over the River Run.

This year, his granddaughter Haley Bates, 20, came all the way from college in Virginia for the weekend to see her grandfather and to participate in the race with him.

She ended up getting first place in the age 20 to 24 category for the walk.

Cunny doesn’t necessarily keep up with his finish times from year-to-year, but he does like to compare his time from each race to his friends’ times. However, he does have a bit of a bone to pick with the scoring system. Age categories for awards are typically five years long, but the oldest bracket possibility in most races is 70 and up.

“For those of us older than the 70s, we’re competing with people a lot younger than us,” Cunny said in good humor. “We think its unfair. There ought to be a category over 80 and maybe even over 90. If it was over 90 I’d probably win.”

Cunny feels staying active is what keeps people going. He participates in an hour-long, structured, group exercise at the YMCA three days a week. The class is targeted towards the older crowd and was started by Mindy Giambrone and continued by Amelia Brame, two local teachers, and is now led by three different women.

“The program that Mindy started was just what I needed,” Cunny said. “It’s exercise routine. We sometimes use weights, sometimes use bands and sometimes use a soft ball. More or less it’s just to keep moving for 60 minutes, keeps the blood flowing. It stimulates the heart, suppose to keep the heart going.”

He also does a little bit of light yard work, not as much as he once did, but it also helps keep him active and moving.

In addition to exercise, he stays active by working as a park guide at the Vicksburg National Military Park two days a week and he teaches Sunday school at First Presbyterian Church.