Marathon graphics - batman motif, Thursday, June 8, 2023

The 17th Annual Mott Marathon Challenge will take place after school on Thursday, June 8 at the Central Valley Academy track.

The “My Best Me” Marathon celebrates the life of Christopher Newtown, focusing on awareness for Mental and Holistic Wellness. The day will include many activities for all students throughout the school day. Motivational speaker Jeff Yalden returns for a second consecutive year to be a part of the day and marathon.

CVA, Ilion, and Mohawk alumni, faculty, staff, and community members are also encouraged to participate. The marathon begins with the Jarvis Mile for the junior high students at 2:45 p.m.  The marathon follows at 3 p.m.  Runners must run/walk 105 laps to complete the marathon.  Relay teams of two to eight runners are allowed. Laps may be split up as teams see fit. This year, however, only two members from each relay team may run at the same time.

The Utica Roadrunners Running Club are again invited to be a participate.  All those interested in participating must contact Race Director Jim Mott before the event at

Shirts are available for purchase through Mohawk Valley Apparel.  Shirts are $12 for 50/50 blend and $15 for performance shirts.  Quantities and sizes can be ordered through Mr. Mott as well.  

There will be music, food trucks, and other surprises throughout the course of the event and other swag will be available for purchase at the event. This is a guaranteed fun time for everyone who joins in to encourage the runners.

Humble beginnings

The challenge is now part of a district- and community-wide day that celebrates students and the sport of running.  But that is now how it started.

The event began when student Eric Lachacz made fun of teacher Jim Mott's Boston Marathon time. After some good natured banter, Mr. Mott declared that the student could not come close to Mr. Mott's time—even if he ran on the flattest course on earth—a track.  Mr. Mott raised the stakes by encouraging Lachacz to raise money for a cause. Lachacz boldly accepted the challenge. Without training, the student had to push himself to simply finish. His best effort proved two hours slower than his teacher's.

Since that first encounter, the marathon has grown, raising more than $35,000 for a variety of charities. Equally important, more than 270 students have completed the full marathon distance of 105 laps (26.2 miles).

Mott to retire, but not from the Marathon

Mr. Mott has announced that he will retire from teaching in June. To help celebrate, Eric Lachacz is traveling down from Michigan to run as an alum.

Although Mr. Mott is giving up the classroom and his soccer coaching responsibilities, he said he will hang onto the marathon for one more year. Look for his return for the 18th running in 2024.