The Molly Dattilo Run/Walk is held annually on Madison, Indiana’s waterfront in mid-May. The race is named for Molly Dattilo, an avid and enthusiastic local runner who attended Madison Consolidated High School and disappeared without a trace in 2004. The events start with a 5K run and 5K walk open to all ages, is followed by separate girls and boys half-mile runs for grades K-3, and ends with two separate girls and boys one-mile runs for grades 3-5.
The format of the race evolved from earlier races held in Madison. In 1982, Tim Hoffman held a 5K race that also featured a one-mile race for elementary students on the grounds of the Madison State Hospital. This became an annual event. Girls, Inc. in Madison assumed sponsorship of the race in the year 2000.
Molly’s early running career included winning the one-mile girls event as a third grader! The race resulted in running clubs being started in most local elementary schools. When Girls Inc. could no longer administer the race, Paul Kelly, the running club coach at Pope John Elementary for 24 years, organized the present race committee to continue the tradition.
Paul, a standout runner in his high school career at Shawe Memorial High School, proposed a partnership between the running programs at Madison Consolidated High School and Shawe Memorial. Along with others, the present committee includes Ken Brunner (Madison’s athletic director), Celestra Dattilo Hoffman (Molly’s sister), as well as coaches from Madison’s & Shawe’s cross country and track programs. The successful collaboration between the two schools and an outpouring of community support helps spread Molly’s exuberant embrace of running to adults and youth alike. The youth races promote family health, introduce our elementary-age students to the running sports and encourage them to participate in their high school running teams. Besides staff and faculty, many of the race volunteers are student athletes from Madison and Shawe.
Money raised by the yearly running event goes to fund scholarships in Molly’s name for local students active in Molly’s sports of running and swimming, as well as the running programs at Shawe and Madison High Schools.
The Molly Dattilo race committee is committed to remembering Molly and encouraging present and future runners. Cross-town camaraderie, instead of cross-town competition between Madison Consolidated and Shawe Memorial honors both Molly and our sport. We hope you will join us.