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      Sponsors prohibit 12-year-old twins with disabilities from participating in race, runners boycott

      The sponsor of a Central New York road race is prohibiting 12-year-old twin boys who use wheelchairs from participating, and a group of runners are boycotting the Fourth of July event.

      Jack and Nolan Willis of Manlius have muscular dystrophy but have participated in a recent triathlon and half-marathon as part of Team 2 Smiles. It's a team of experienced runners who take turns pushing the boys' wheelchairs in races, and they had planned to push the boys during the 10-mile race in Cazenovia.

      But when Team 2 Smiles asked for permission two weeks ago for the boys to participate, the Syracuse Chargers Track Club board denied the request, citing safety concerns.