Brian Aselton Memorial Snow Dash

The Brian Aselton Memorial Snow Dash was yesterday in East Hartford, Connecticut. It was the 10th time that the race has been run in Brian Aselton’s honor. He was killed in the line of duty 10 years ago this month when responding to a police call in East Hartford. He was a young man. We have an eight year streak at this race and aren’t planning to stop anytime soon. Horst Engineering has supported the event for years, so running the race means a lot. 

The Journal Inquirer and the local TV stations always give the race a little coverage. Several K-9 officers run with their partners and the police academy usually brings several squads of cadets who run in formation. I think it is a great way to honor a fallen comrade. 

The race went OK. My legs were still shot from the snowshoe hiking/running in the New Hampshire mountains earlier in the week. After a hairy start where an seven year old nearly took me down, I settled into a decent pace and never lost ground. I was in no-man’s land for most of the race, but picked up a spot in the last quarter mile to finish fourth. My time wasn’t very good. I lacked the “get up and go” necessary to feel great about a run. The course was altered this year with the start/finish at Langford School instead of at the East Hartford Golf Club. I liked the route. It is officially a 5km race now. The old course was .05 short, which does make a difference, though only when you are counting seconds. 

As for this near wipe out. It seems that certain races attract little guys to the front row. I don’t mind. I’m no giant. It is amusing to see these kids run out front for the first 50 meters, thinking they might hold that pace for another three miles. Eventually, they come back to the pack and somehow avoid getting trampled by the hundreds of runners behind them. I stayed on my feet and was able to laugh about it. 

Debbie had to deal with the little dude too. He bounced off me like a pinball and headed for her next. She also fended off the little guy as he bounced backward through the pack. As it turns out, he ran an awfully respectable time for his age. We may have a future Aselton winner in the midst. Debbie had an OK race. She is in more of an off-season mode than I am, and ran more for fun. She was the 2nd woman and had to kick hard in the last bit to gain that spot from two other women. The fast finish brought a smile to her face since she isn’t really known for her sprint; though one of the ladies she out-kicked had the misfortune of a last minute wrong turn. It’s all part of racing. 

The overall win went to Brett Stoeffler for a second year in a row. He ran a smart race-not being suckered into a fast start. I watched him for the first 1.5 miles before he caught the rabbit and eased past. I lost site of him on the climb and never gained ground again. I think he was happy with his pace, though he knows there weren’t any speedsters to contend with. Kudos to Brett for setting the course record. We won’t remind folks this was the first time the race was run on this new course. The women’s winner was Melissa Perkins-Banas. She finished a few spots behind me and a little ways in front of Debbie. Aselton is in the books for another year, but we won’t forget about Brian. Around East Hartford, he is always on peoples’ minds.

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