EAST HARTFORD – “Brian was really into fitness – ran a lot, worked out a lot,” says John Aselton, of his brother. That’s why an upcoming 5K is the perfect way to honor East Hartford police officer Brian Aselton, killed in the line of duty in January 1999, at the age of 26.

“He could light up a room when he walked in it, he was a lot of fun, always smiling, always joking around,” says John, a former cop, as he reflects on the time passed. 23 years. “I think about Brian every day, as time goes by, it gets a little easier but sometimes it feels like yesterday.”

“It’s important to reflect on the policemen and women who wear the badge every day. It truly is a job that takes commitment and true sacrifice,” says Jonathan Cooper who helps organize the Snow Dash which starts at the Langford School and continues on the streets that Aselton patrolled.

Proceeds benefit a scholarship fund in his name and also an East Hartford Police Department crime prevention outreach program, doing good in area neighborhoods.

“They can draw the community in, have activities, connect with kids in the community in some of the areas in East Hartford that see a higher crime rate,” he says.

“Some years it’s snowy, some years it’s cold but people still come out,” says John.

The race was paused last year during the pandemic. Everyone is glad it’s back. 200 plus runners from children to seniors, celebrating community, carrying along with the spirit of a man, missed by so many.

“He was very competitive and a fast runner – he would be out in front probably, egging everyone on – definitely,” says John. “Getting people together in Brian’s name, it really helps and really feels good.”

The Officer Brian A. Aselton Memorial Snow Dash 5-K Road Race takes place on January 9th. You can register online, all the way up until race day.