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13th Annual Mott Marathon will be a Run to Remember Ryan

The 2019 Mott Marathon Challenge “The Run to Remember Ryan” will honor the memory of Ryan Donato (Ilion Class of 2010). Ryan recently passed away at the age of 26 after a brief but determined battle with soft tissue myxoid sarcoma.

Ryan could only be described as a one-of-a-kind individual. He was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” by his classmates. He was eccentric, zany and extremely intelligent; self-taught in a number of things, from the French language (in which he became fluent) to various musical instruments. He was skilled at the harmonica, accordion and bass guitar, which he used in jam sessions with his group 3M2F. As an artist, Ryan was dedicated to drawing and painting.

Ryan loved animals and his family has requested that all proceeds this year from the Mott Marathon Challenge go to the Herkimer County Humane Society. All runners, district employees, alumni, and community members are encouraged to please raise money for this worthy cause.

The Mott Marathon Challenge will take place Thursday, June 13, 2019. Festivities begin at 3 pm as we will hold The Jarvis Mile before the start of the marathon which is 105 laps. The marathon returns to CVA this year as it was held at Herkimer Elementary last year due to construction. There are currently 56 seniors signed up for the event.

The Mott Marathon began quietly in 2006. Ilion senior Eric Lachacz teased his teacher, Jim Mott, saying Mott’s marathon running was no big deal. Lachacz insisted that running a marathon would be easy and require no training. Mott challenged him to run the distance on a level track, but make it worthwhile by raising money for charity. Lachacz raised $53 and jogged a 5:45. Lachacz’s efforts inspired a successfully bigger number of future seniors to take up the challenge.

The event has raised nearly $30,000 over its 12 years, including more than $10,000 in 2016 for the American Cancer Society in honor of Ilion graduate and cancer victim Jack Day. Since Lachacz, 290 other seniors have completed the marathon. Chyanna Bernier holds the record that was set in 2016 with a time of 3:23:51. Jacob Bunce was the champion last year with a time of 4:31:33. Since 2016, there has also been a marathon relay available to CVA alumni, faculty and staff. The record for the relay is held by Stephen Paddock and Michael Polidori who clocked a time 0f 2:43:14. The event is sponsored by the CVA Student Council and the Utica Roadrunners. Members of the Roadrunners are also eligible to participate. Participants must sign a waiver and complete a team entry form.

All registration forms must be completed and submitted by June 1 to Jim Mott at Central Valley Academy. For more information please contact Mott at