PARKERSBURG - It's a family affair.
For one family, the Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon on Saturday, Aug. 15 will be that exactly. In fact, eight members of the family will be participating in the race.
For Rachel Cashwell and her husband, Sean, this will be their third year participating in the race. Rachel's mother, Donna Williams, and her aunt, Dianne Brannon, will be participating for the second time.
But this year, four more family members, including Rachel's grandmother, Betty Williams, and her husband's grandmother, Doris Crockett, will take part in the race. The two grandmothers will be pushed along the 13.1-mile course in wheelchairs by Rachel and Sean. Also participating in the half marathon will be Rachel's uncle, David Williams, and her mother-in-law, Cheryl Cashwell.
Betty Williams, Rachel's grandmother, is 87 years old and is looking forward to the half marathon. Williams said Rachel seemed to enjoy running in the half marathon and asked her to participate in it, this year, and she agreed.
"I lived in Vienna and on the south side of Parkersburg." Williams said.
Williams said she had a daughter and two grandchildren who still live in the Parkersburg area. When asked how she feels about the time she'll be spending with her family during the marathon Williams said, "they're lots of fun, I enjoy it."
Williams said she will be around for the entire homecoming weekend.
"I think it will be fun," Williams said. "We have been training for it. I call it practicing, Rachel said it's training. We'll all be there and it will be fun."
Doris Crockett, Sean's grandmother, is 90 years old and not only will it be her first half marathon it will be her first visit to Parkersburg. When first asked about the half marathon Crockett enthusiastically said, " I'm looking forward to it. My grandson (Sean) asked if I wanted to participate and I said 'I love to but I can't walk for that long,'" Crockett said. "So he asked if I would agree to be pushed in a wheelchair and I thought that would be great."
Crockett said she thinks it will be fun to visit and interesting to find out what Parkersburg has to offer.
"I'm going to have fun and see what the marathon is all about," Crockett said.
Rachel Cashwell said this race is special for her, too.
"My family is from the Parkersburg area," Cashwell said. "My mother lived there and I have been going there for years."
Cashwell said her family is planning to attend the pasta dinner the night before the race and will stay for the whole Homecoming weekend.
"My husband and I have run in the Columbus Marathon, but this is the one we just do for fun." Cashwell said. "The scenery is nice, the crowd is always great and we get visit with family while we're there. This race is very special. Parkersburg is important to us all."