Great Greenbrier River Race is a family affair
The Great Greenbrier River Race draws a crowd from all over the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond, but for one athletic family, itﾒs more than an excuse to run, bike and paddle their way through a spring Saturday in Pocahontas County.
Itﾒs the family that puts the fun in the day.
Kellyn Cassell first entered the race in the late 1990s; then a junior in high school, he was recruited by his aunt, Linda Adams, to bike for the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Heﾒs been a race participant ever since.
Cassellﾒs family had been cheering him on in high school sports like track and basketball and the river race was no different.
Except for one thing.
The family members who gathered to watch thought it looked like so much fun, they wanted in on the action.
Lindaﾒs brother, Raymond, was the second to get involved.
And then, three years ago, Kellynﾒs sister, Tausha, got a womenﾒs team together that included Raymondﾒs wife, Holly, and Kellynﾒs future wife, Morgan.
Tausha was a stellar athlete in her own right, having played guard on the first Lady Warriors basketball team to make it to the State Tournment in 2002. She also ran track and cleared hurdles like a deer with perfect form. At West Virginia University, she was on the rowing team.
Two years ago, Lindaﾒs brother, Clifford, watched a race and vowed to never watch another one. Heﾒll take the three-mile run and the four-mile canoe legs this year.
Also a Pocahontas County High School athlete, Clifford played football, soccer and basketball. Brother Raymond played football, soccer and was a cheerleader.
Now, Taushaﾒs husband, Josh Grim, has put together a team from Charlottesville, Virginia. Cousin Rusty Jackson will head this way from North Carolina.
All in all, five teams will have an Adams family member on board. And the fun doesnﾒt stop on Saturday.
The Adams family keeps close to their roots and with matriarch Shirley also at the CVB, the race became a traditional family reunion weekend. They all gather at sister Brenda Cochranﾒs house afterward for meals and camping.
Itﾒs so much fun that some family members are willing to give up other activities to get to Pocahontas County to see the race and the racers.
Nephew Bryce, 13 by race time, his birthday is this month, is giving up a school trip in favor of his family.
And for Linda, what sheﾒs willing to give up is, for her, like skipping Christmas.
One of many talented Pocahontas County quilters, she was scheduled to travel to the American Quilt Society national show in Paducah, Kentucky, on race weekend. Sheﾒs been to the show once, but was called home for an emergency after just a day.
ﾓThatﾒs a big sacrifice,ﾔ she said.
But, when it come to family, itﾒs all okay. The best part of the weekend is to have her family home.
So four generations of the Adams family from five states will be on hand for the 24th AnnualGreat Greenbrier River Race.
Kellynﾒs wife, Morgan, is a new mom and will sit out this year, but Tausha, also a new mom, will paddle her leg of the race for the Espressos.
Shirley is taking the day off, but, true to form, she said sheﾒd be around if she could do anything to help. Plus, sheﾒll be around to watch her flock go through the paces of the Great Greenbrier River Race.
ﾓWe could go on like this forever,ﾔ she said. ﾓI have 17 grandchildren.ﾔ
The Great Greenbrier River Race will be held in Marlinton Saturday, April 24. All participants must register early. Forms must be postmarked by April 12.
Schedule of Events:
Friday, April 23: Forman and Rist Pasta Party for pre-registered participants and paid guests only, Marlinton United Methodist Church, Sixth Avenue and Ninth Street. Race packet pickup. 6-8 p.m.
Saturday, April 24: Drop off boats just above bridge; solos leave bikes at Buckeye transition, 8-10 a.m.; Mandatory race meeting at Gazebo, 10:30 a.m.; Race begins, 11 a.m.; Post-race picnic with ﾓtales of triumph and woe,ﾔ 1:30 p.m.; Awards ceremony, 2:30 p.m. ?