MAD 4-Miler

The MAD Run 4-Miler and MAD Dash will be held next Saturday. The events raise funds for the UVA Breast Care Center and the Madison County High School Student Support Fund.

The MAD Run 4-Miler, a four-mile road race to benefit the University of Virginia Breast Care Center and the Madison County High School Student Support Fund, will once again be held at Hebron Lutheran Church this month.

Now in its 10th year, the MAD Run 4-Miler originated as a practice run for local runners training for the Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler. The Madison Women’s Four Miler training program organized the race and selected the course for its similarity to the one used for the Charlottesville race, an out and back over gently sloping paved roads.

Valerie Miller of the Madison County Parks and Recreation Authority said the event has become a fixture in the community and has become a symbol of support for those that are being treated or have undergone treatment for breast cancer. While it began as part of the training for the Charlottesville race, the Madison race differs in that it is open to runners of both sexes. Miller said the event is for the entire community to support those impacted by breast cancer.

“The key differences between this race and the Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler is this is open to both men and women,” said Miller. “So many of the husbands and brothers in our community wanted to be a part of this. They wanted to feel like they were doing something for the cause too. We welcome runners and walkers of all sexes, ages and ability.”

Miller said that the race will offer team challenges again for local churches, businesses and schools. Any participating group gets discounted registration and an opportunity to compete for team awards and bragging rights.

The Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler is the largest all-women’s race in Virginia and has raised more than $3.5 million over the past 25 years. Funds raised go to cancer research and to help provide access to screening mammograms and treatment for uninsured or underinsured Virginians. While under the umbrella of the Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler, MAD 4-Miler contributed between $1,000-$3,500 annually. Cynthia Lorenzoni, organizer of the Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler, said that the annual race provides support for the UVA Breast Care Center and brings awareness to the community at large. Lorenzoni said that in past years the MAD Run 4-Miler contributed to the UVA Breast Care Center under the umbrella of the Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler as the Madison Women’s Four Miler Training Program.

“For many years the MAD Run 4 Miler and the Madison Women’s Four Miler Training Program were a part of our organization and contributed over $10,000 to our cause,” said Lorenzoni. “In 2017 they disbanded their training program but have continued to run their community race and have donated directly to the Breast Care Clinic. The women of Madison have continued to contribute and help both their community and the greater Charlottesville area.”

This will be the second year the MCHS Student Support Fund will be the local beneficiary of the race. The MCHS Student Support Fund was created by teachers and guidance counselors to provide funding for low-income Madison County High School students for class trips, yearbooks and activities. The educators noticed that there were many options to help younger students with financial needs, but nothing for high school students and created the fund so these students could fully participate in the high school experience. Many of the teachers involved in the MCHS Student Support Fund are also members of the Madison Running Club, the group behind the MAD 4-Miler.

Online registration for the race is now open and can be accessed through the race website madrun4miler.com. On-site registration will be available from 6:30–7:30 a.m. the day of the race, Aug. 24 with the race beginning at 7:45 a.m. The cost is $25 for entrants to the MAD Run 4-Miler. Registration for the MAD Dash, open to children 10 and under, is free. The dash will begin at 7:30 a.m. Awards will be presented to the top male and female runners. For more information about this event or to become a sponsor contact Valerie Miller at madrun4miler@gmail.com or visit the Madison Running Club on Facebook.

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