Today I ran in the 2012 Brian A. Aselton Memorial Snow Dash. I featured it in a Pace Per Mile report and had never run it, so I thought I would check it out. The race was hosted by the East Hartford Parks and Recreation Department and benefitted the East Hartford Police Department Child Safety and Crime Prevention Program and the Officer Brian Aselton Scholarship Fund. Last year the event raised approximately $5,000 for the charitable causes. This year, attendance was high thanks to unseasonably warm weather. Over 300 people participated in this, the 20th running of the race.
It was 41 degrees and partly cloudy at the start of the race. The nice weather drew a healthy crowd and the race-day registration line was LONG. I waited in line approximately 20 minutes, effectively eliminating my warm up time. I wonder how many of the 300 people signed up in advance. Judging by the steady flow of people joining the race-day line, not many. I was surprised to find the volunteers handing out three different race bibs – I guess even they weren’t expecting so many people to turn up for a January race. Thankfully, the check in tables were inside, in the temperature controlled gym of a local school. I stayed warm inside until the race began (and hung out there after the race ended).
The Snow Dash course is a fairly flat course through residential neighborhoods in East Hartford. The course was very well marked, with signs with arrows and written instructions (i.e. keep left) at every turn and bend in the road. Uniformed police officers or brightly clad volunteers were stationed at every turn to guide runners. I was pleasantly surprised to find that traffic was blocked on all but one of the roads. There doesn’t seem to be that much traffic to block, but it was considerate of the organizers to have police to hold what little traffic there was. I was sure of the course and didn’t have to worry about cars getting in the way. Police officers and K9 teams were encouraged to run the race and I saw one (very speedy) K9 officer/handler team. I saw two parents with jogging strollers and several walkers. The race seemed quite welcoming to people of all ability levels. I must say that the men’s field was quite fast; there were many, many more men than women participating in the Snow Dash. Timing was provided by Platt Systems. Awards were given three deep in 10-year age groups. Awards were also given for members of the law enforcement community and K9/handler teams. The awards were very pretty glass statuettes.
One disappointing part of the Snow Dash was the post-race refreshments. The organizers had mini water bottles, bottles of a sport drink, granola bars, potato chips, and York peppermint patty minis (?) for runners. To me, this offering seemed a bit scant. I would like preferred a bit of variety, perhaps some fruit. I don’t like chocolate, and the potato chips ran out early, so there was nothing really for me to eat after the race. I’m a girl who likes her snacks, so I was a bit disappointed with the spread, particularly given the $25 registration fee. Also, I thought the registration fee was a bit steep considering that there were no t-shirts included in the fee.
All things considered it was a fun race. I liked the mostly flat course and appreciated the clear course markings and traffic-free streets. The awards were unique and the competition was strong. If I run it next year I will plan to bring my own snacks.
Details for the outfit featured above: Lululemon Run: Full Tilt Tight, Lululemon Run Your Heart Out Pullover (no longer available), random hat I won in a Twitter contest from CEP (the compression sock people).