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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Leroy Lindell walks Tunnel Hill State Trail daily

  • He's out there at 6 a.m. every day, regardless of weather. Leroy Lindell, 80, Carrier Mills is a retired coal miner who walks 3 1/2 miles a day on the Tunnel Hill State Trail.
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  • He's out there at 6 a.m. every day, regardless of weather.
    Leroy Lindell, 80, Carrier Mills is a retired coal miner who walks 3 1/2 miles a day on the Tunnel Hill State Trail. Diagnosed with black lung in 1976 he retired in 1986 and his doctor told him to take up walking.
    "He said it would keep my weight down and improve my lung function," said Lindell.
    Tuesday was his 80th birthday and he celebrated by walking five miles that day.
    "I like the fall. I would rather walk in the fall than the summer when it is so hot. But I still walk year around. When it rains I have a raincoat with a hood," he said.
    "When I started walking my wife would go with me. But her arthritis got bad and she had to quit. Now I go alone" he said.
    Lindell was born in Sturgis, Ky., in 1932 and came to Southern Illinois at the age of 10.
    "I carry a cane in case I'll need it. When I feel good I can get my walking in fine in one and a half hours," he said.
    The Tunnel Hill State Trail is a converted railroad roadbed that runs from Harrisburg to Karnak. He lives only two blocks from the state trail. This is good since he no longer drives.
    Lindell likes Nike running shoes for his walking. He buys two pair every three months at Shoe Carnival in Carbondale.
    "That way I have a pair when the first pair wears out," he said.
    He was at the foot doctor Wednesday for bone spurs and hammer toes, but decided not to do anything about them. They are not much of a problem to him.

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