What’s a “Molly Run”?

May of you liked and commented on my Facebook post from Saturday of my beautiful niece Riley and myself at the “Molly Run” in Madison, Indiana and I have had a lot of questions about what that really is!

Molly Dattilo was a 23 year old student at Eastern Kentucky University and from my hometown of Madison, Indiana.  She was living with her brother in Indianapolis and taking summer classes at IUPUI and on July 6, 2004 Molly attended two classes, ran some errands, and talked to friends. Around 7:30 p.m. she told her brother she was walking to a nearby Wendy’s to fill out a job application and hasn’t been seen since. Molly’s cell phone, ID, and ATM card were left behind at the apartment she shared with her brother.

The Molly Datillo Run/Walk is held annually on Madison, Indiana’s waterfront in mid-May.  Molly was an avid and enthusiastic local runner who attended Madison Consolidated High School, 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.

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 Datillo 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.

This is a great event and keeps the memory of Molly alive…you have a year, start training!


Vicki Reed

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