A race to some, for the past five years, the annual Huckleberry Run has become a family tradition of sorts, as members of the Barnwell family honor the memory of Caleb Barnwell.

The race, which added Caleb's name in 2012, takes place each year during the Huckleberry Festival.

This year, more than 400 runners and walkers joined together to take part in the 2017 Stan Jones and Caleb Barnwell Memorial Huckleberry Run.

"No matter where we end up, we will always come back for this race," explained Caleb's father Eddie Barnwell. "He used to run this race all through school, and even after he got out of high school.

"They did not have it last year, but we came up and ran it anyway."

Caleb's mother LeAnn Barnwell echoes her husband's thoughts. 

"This race means a lot to us," said LeAnn Barnwell said. "Caleb was a runner here when we coached here in Jay. Caleb loved running and he loved athletics. He loved being a Jay Bulldog."

LeAnn and Eddie Barnwell are both Jay graduates. They each taught and coached within the school district on more than one occasion. The last coaching stint included working with their twin sons, Caleb and Case. 

While at Jay, Caleb took part in multiple sports including football, cross country, basketball and track.

After graduating in 2004, Caleb and Case Barnwell attended Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas. There the two men ran for the Gorillas.

For Case Barnwell, Caleb's twin brother, the race has a deeper meaning. 

"We [are] running this race as a family," Case Barnwell said. "To remember and honor him.

"We both ran growing up in high school and then in college, so it feels a like he is here in a lot of ways."

This year had a special twist for the Barnwells, as Case Barnwell's 1-year-old son, Caleb - named after his brother - took part in the race for the first time. 

"It is a great feeling now that we have little Caleb as we call him in the race," LeAnn Barnwell said. 

Eddie Barnwell said spending time, before and after the race, to reminisce with family and friends also makes the event special. 

"A lot of his old classmates and friends come back and run in this race," Eddie Barnwell said. "That is special reminiscing. It makes it feel like part of him is still here, and we always get to see some of those classmates once a year here."

Even Caleb Barnwell's younger sister, Kelsey, who was a basketball player in high school, returns for the race each year. 

"It is awesome to run in this. It is a great way to honor him every year and remember his legacy," Kelsey Barnwell said. "About half through the race, when I feel like I am dying, he pops in my head to keep going and pushing no matter if it hurts."

LeAnn and Eddie Barnwell now work for Bentonville West High School in northwest Arkansas, where they are the dean of students and assistant football coach, respectively. 

They remain part of the Jay community, with their membership at Mount Hermon Church, east of Jay.  

"For our community to come together and continue to do this to honor not only Caleb but Stan Jones as well is a great thing," said LeAnn Barnwell said, adding the late Stan Jones gave the couple their first jobs in education. 

"Stan and Beverly Jones also put on the baby shower for Caleb and Case when I was pregnant," LeAnn Barnwell recalled. "It is great to honor Stan as well. It all ties in together."