EW Veterans Day 5k has record turnout

EAST WINDSOR — Not only did the 14th annual East Windsor Veterans Day 5k have a record turnout, it also had a record best time.

Wethersfield’s William Sanders clocked in at an impressive 14:42 to take first place in the trek, a course record and just three seconds over Indian Orchard, Mass native Amop Sang.

The top local runner was Tolland’s Brett Stoeffler, whose 17:10 time was good for a respectable top ten finish.

“A few years ago, I was in the top three,” the Tolland High School graduate said. “It varies. Today I show up and I know I’m going to be chasing a couple of people. And this is my personal best here I am very happy. It’s a tough course it’s windy.”

Stoeffler faced stiff competition due to the fact that the field was nearly 30% bigger this year from last year.

“Today our registration was up to 370, last year it was at 296,” Race director Rick Webster said. “After we pay all the bills we do veterans projects in the community and we give a scholarship to a boys senior and girls senior from East Windsor High School. We pay for the flags on the poles here on memorial day, and people love the race.”

“It’s a good race,” Stoeffler said, echoing Webster’s point.  “I’ve done it in the past. They do a nice job and honestly honor the veterans. You really cant beat it.”

Garrett Brown from South Windsor turned in an impressive performance, the 17-year old clocked in at 18:05. He was followed close behind by 16-year old Chris Erikson, also from South Windsor. The duo both crossed the finish line inside the top 10.

The top female runner was Windsor’s Melissa Stellah, whose 18:12 was also good for 15th overall. The top local female was Suffield’s Alyce Alfano.

It takes a to put together a big community event, but Webster has help, and a noble cause fueling the preparation.

“The race is really for the community,” he said. “It’s for the average runner. I am very ecstatic with our turnout today And also, the veterans commission, everyone knows and does their job. As race director I don’t have to tell anyone what to do. The community is the big winner.”

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