Logo for 16th Mott marathon challenge

On Thursday, June 9, members of the Central Valley Academy Senior Class will lace up their running shoes to tackle 26.2 miles on the CVA track in the 16th annual Mott Marathon. Runners will push themselves to their physical limits and draw school and community focus to an important cause.

This year's theme is Miles for Mental Health, focusing on the mental health challenges and  remembering and celebrating the life of CVA student Christopher Newtown.

In conjunction with the marathon, the students in grades 5-12 will attend assemblies led by teen mental health and suicide prevention expert Jeff Yalden. Parents and community members are invited to his evening presentation on Wednesday, June 8.

Jarvis Middle School will again hold the "Jarvis Mile" as a warmup to the marathon. Students from Fisher and Barringer Road elementary schools are also exploring ways they might participate.

For the first time, outside groups are taking a more active role. The following will have informational tables addressing many of the challenges facing students and their families:

  • The Grand Rehabilitation - nursing/rehab
  • Catholic Charities
    • Mentoring
    • Emergency Assistance Program
    • Domestic Violence
    • Runaway and Homeless Youth
    • Prevention Council - substance abuse prevention
    •  Housing Program
    • Youth Services
    • Safe Harbour - human trafficking
  • ICAN System of Care - various services for youth
  • Healthy Families - prenatal up to 3 mos.
  • Care Net - pregnancy care
  • Neighborhood Center
    • Project AIM - behavioral health care, child care
    • MCAT - disability services
    • CFTSS - behavioral health care, child care
  • RCIL - disability services
  • Mohawk Valley Community Action - 
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Movement Strength Fitness


The Mott Marathon Challenge started when student Eric Lachacz made fun of teacher Jim Mott's Boston Marathon time. After some good natured banter, Mr. Mott told Lachacz that he could not come close to his time on the flattest course on earth—a track.  To make it more than bluster, Mr. Mott also challenged Lachacz to make it worthwhile by raising money for a cause. Despite no training, the student pushed himself to finish in a time two hours slower than his teacher.  Since that first encounter, the marathon has grown, raising more than $30,000 for a variety of charities. Equally important, more than 250 students have completed the full marathon distance of 105 laps (26.2 miles).

Although CVA seniors the only students eligible to run, alumni, faculty, and community members are invited to participate as individuals or relay teams of two to six members.  Utica Roadrunners support the run each year and their members are also invited. There is no registration fee, but donations are strongly encouraged. 

Shirts and other swag will be available and each participant will get an official medal. There is also a registration/waiver needed.  Technical shirts will be $20 and the supply is very limited.  Other shirts of a 50/50 blend will be $15.  All proceeds will go to the scholarship fund in memory of Christopher Newtown. For more information about shirts or to place an order, contact Rebecca Fresco at rfresco@cvalleycsd.org of Shannon Darrow at sdarrow@cvalleycsd.org.

For more information about the marathon, contact Jim Mott at jmott@cvalleycsd.org.