Ainsley's Angels Race In Tulsa Provides Those With Disabilities, Special Needs The Chance To Participate

Ainsley’s Angels is holding a race in Tulsa Saturday, where runners are able to push people with special needs, so they can run too.

Saturday, September 9th 2023, 9:50 am

By: News On 6, Eden Jones


Jennifer Mount is lacing her running shoes up for the Miles for Milestones 5k race on Saturday.

“Temperature’s perfect, sun's shining, there’s no wind, it’s awesome,” she said. 

But these runners aren’t racing alone. 

“All of our amazing volunteers are here getting their chariots set up,” Mount said. 

Mount is an ambassador for Ainsley’s Angels, a nationwide volunteer group where runners push people with special needs in wheelchairs, so they can participate too.

“It gives people with disabilities the opportunity to participate in events that they wouldn’t otherwise have a chance to be in,” Mount said. 

The program is named after Ainsley Rossiter, who, after being left paralyzed from a terminal illness, would go with her dad on runs. That inspired more dads to participate.

Mike Burnside's daughter, Kenzie, has Cerebral Palsy and he says she's a go-getter.

“Kenzie loves everything there is in life, she loves to do it all, she rarely says no,” he said. 

They've been involved with Ainsley’s Angels for almost six years. He says events like this make Kenzie feel included and important.

“It gives the kids, young adults so much freedom and they’re able to do things they wouldn’t normally be able to do,” said Burnside.

Both Mount and Burnside say seeing the reactions from the angel riders as they cross the finish line is priceless.

“A lot of our angel riders are nonverbal, so being able to look at their face and the smiles on their face as the wind's hitting them in the face has been just amazing,” said Mount. 

“Being able to experience what we take for granted, the runners are able to make her feel like she’s part of the crowd and she just loves it,” Burnside said. 

Running alone is good for the body, but this kind of race is good for the heart. 

If you’d like to run or roll with the Tulsa group, you can get in contact with them on their website.

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