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Strap on your running shoes for the 11th Mott Marathon

A record 57 CVA seniors have signed up for “CVA vs. Cancer,” the 11th running of the Annual Mott Marathon on Thursday, June 8 at 3 p.m. at the Central Valley Academy track.

The annual rite challenges CVA seniors and alumni to run 26.2 miles and raise money for the event charity. This year, all proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society.

Each marathon has proven more successful than the previous. Last year’s event shattered records for participation, performance and support. It featured 47 CVA seniors running with 41 completing the full distance; even the last finisher completed a half marathon. 2016 was the first year for non-student runners—24 alumni, staff, and Utica Roadrunners ran as individuals or in teams. CVA senior and first place finisher Chyanna Bernier shattered the previous record by 21 minutes with her 3:23:51. Her time would have qualified her for the Boston Marathon. Roadrunner duo Stephen Paddock and Michael Polidori turned in a team time of 2:43:14.

Last year’s marathon celebrated the life of 2011 Ilion graduate Jack Day who lost a courageous battle with cancer in August, 2015. “Jack’s Day” raised a record $10,034.32 for the Relay for Life.

Humble origins

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 successively bigger number of future seniors to take up the challenge.

The event is again open to past participants and faculty and staff in the Central Valley School District. The marathon can be run solo or as a two-to-six person relay team. Participants must sign a waiver and complete a team entry form.

The 11th running again focuses on the ongoing fight against cancer. Proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society. All runners are encouraged to run in in memory or in honor of someone they know who has battled cancer.

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