Hartford Marathon: Second-Place Finisher Matt Pelletier

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Matt Pelletier talks about his second-place finish in the 2013 ING Hartford Marathon.

From Lori Riley, Hartford Courant:

HARTFORD — Getachew Melese Asfaw, an Ethiopian who lives and trains in Washington, D.C., won the 20th ING Hartford Marathon Saturday morning in 2:19:23.

Erica Jesseman of Scarborough, Maine not only won the women’s marathon for the second time but she also qualified for the Olympic marathon trials with a time of 2:38:11. Jesseman won in 2011 and finished second last year.

Last year’s champion, Hilary Dionne of Charlestown, Mass. finished second in 2:39:37 and also qualified for the trials. Sarah Bard of Somerville, Mass. was third (2:43:13) and finished 13 seconds off the Olympic Trials qualifying time.

Julius Mbugua of Kenya won the half-marathon (1:05:13) and Megan Hogan of Saratoga Springs, N.Y. was the women’s winner (1:13:19).

Will Sanders of Wethersfield broke the 5K record, winning the 3.1-mile race in 14:54. Christa Ferguson of Wallingford was the women’s 5K winner.

“I wanted to at least take a shot at it,” Sanders said. “I didn’t know I was going to do it until I hit the first mile and the clock wasn’t even ready. I realized I was feeling good.”

Additional security measures have been taken and police presence has been expanded after the bombings at the Boston Marathon in April.

The starting line of the 2013 ING Hartford Marathon ( Brad Horrigan, Hartford Courant)

The starting line of the 2013 ING Hartford Marathon ( Brad Horrigan, Hartford Courant)

Joe Darda of Willimantic, who was the top state finisher at Boston, ran the half-marathon today in preparation for next month’s New York City Marathon.

“As scary as that day was, I also realized it’s a highly unusual thing,” Darda said last week. “I don’t have any anxiety it will happen in Hartford or New York City. It will probably be the safest half and marathon I ever run.”

The race has grown over its 20 years: approximately 15,000 runners are expected to flood downtown Hartford and Bushnell Park for the races, which include a kids K at 9:30 a.m.

The races started at 8 a.m.

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