Aselton Memorial 5k attracts 300 runners

By Evan Pajer - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Fri., Jan. 11, 2013
Runners pass the 1-mile line at the corner of Colby Drive and Andover Road. Photos by Evan Pajer.
Runners pass the 1-mile line at the corner of Colby Drive and Andover Road. Photos by Evan Pajer.

More than 300 runners gathered at Langford Elementary School in East Hartford on Jan. 6 for the 14th running of the Officer Brian A. Aselton Memorial Snow Dash 5k Road Race. The race, which attracts runners from across the state, raises money each year for a scholarship fund in Aselton's name.

The race has been run for 21 years, organizer Jim Uhrig said, but its name was changed after Aselton's death in January 1999. Aselton, an East Hartford police officer, was killed in the line of duty while responding to a robbery. Uhrig said that the race typically raises around $8,000, with half going to the Officer Brian A. Aselton Memorial Scholarship Fund and half going to the East Hartford Police Child Safety and Crime Prevention Program.

Uhrig said that a total of 324 runners had registered for the race. "This is an ideal turnout," he said. "We couldn't ask for better weather." Uhrig said that while most of the runners are from Connecticut or Massachusetts, the race has occasionally had runners from New York and New Hampshire in attendance. Police from across Connecticut were in attendance, including Waterbury Officer Fred DuVerger, who ran with his wife Nicole. DuVerger's daughters, Natalie and Danielle, cheered their parents on from the sidelines and waved signs. Another prominent runner was Enfield Officer Chris Dufrense, who ran the race with his dog, Bruin.

The race also attracted runners from nearby towns, including Carolyn Nielsen and her group of runners, who met on the Rails to Trails bike trail in Vernon. Nielsen's group included Stephen Tollman and Alan Terryberry. "I retired and started running about 10 years ago," Tolman said.

"We enjoy it. It's a social thing. You don't have to win, but we've got plenty of trophies," Terryberry said.

Tolman said that many people in the 50-and-older age group still perform quite well. "In our age group, there are people coming in 50th," Tolman said.

Manchester runner John Busque took overall first place with a time of 15 minutes and 46 seconds. Busque, who took first place last year, entered hoping to improve on his time from last year. "It felt good," Busque said as he crossed the finish line. Busque improved his time by 23 seconds this year, down from 16 minutes and 9 seconds.

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