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Tolland Celebrates 12th Annual Cider Mill 5K and Family Fun Run

Soggy, but fun, the Cider Mill 5K and Family Fun Run brought out plenty of runners--and umbrellas.

Competitors in the Cider Mill 5K and Family Fun Run didn't let a little rain dampen their spirits. Enthusiastic runners of every age turned out at for a morning of healthy exercise and camaraderie.

Organized by the Cider Mill Road Race Committee, an all-volunteer group from the town's school district, the annual event benefits the schools' physical education programs and the Tolland Recreation Department. The event consists of three types of races--a series of short "fun runs" for preschool up to mid-elementary age children, followed by the "Cider Mile," a loop which starts on Cider Mill Road and then onto a gravel trail through the woods in Crandall Park. The final event is the Cider Mill 5K, another loop run which also starts and finishes on Cider Mill Road.

"We usually have about 100 kids participating in the Fun Run, about 150 in the Cider Mile, and around 300 runners for the 5K," said Jennifer Lehman, co-director of the event.

The event ran through the morning hours and everyone from the youngest on up had a role to play, whether it was registering participants, handing out medals, running or cheering.

The top three overall male runners were Nicholas Migani (16:28), Adam Bulewich (17:12), and Daniel Fields (17:36). The top three overall female runners were Melissa Stellato (18:34), Donna Kay-Ness (19:29), and Julia Sprout (21:38).

"I ran this race last year and loved it," said Melissa Stellato of Windsor, first place female in the 5K. "It's a nice course. The price is right, and it is very well done."

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