(Rick Hickman/American Press)
Last Modified: Sunday, July 20, 2014 12:20 PM
In the midst of a wet and rainy weekend, Ainsley’s Angels inaugural Roll With the Wind Sunset 5K race took off without a hitch under cloudy skies at exactly 7:15 p.m. Saturday.
“It’s been very busy. It’s been a very good turnout,” said Kristine Rossiter-Seaward, president of the group’s local chapter and cofounder of Ainsley’s Angels of America. “We’re super-excited that an inaugural race has brought out this many people. I’m extremely excited it’s humid and not raining. We’re very excited and blessed that the weather was able to give us dryness.”
Rossiter-Seaward said Ainsley’s Angels allows people with disabilities to participate in events such as a 5K. The organization provides equipment for disabled people to become “captains” while being pushed by “angels” running in the race.
“We believe in inclusion so that people with disabilities are able to do what people with able bodies can do,” Rossiter-Seaward said.
Major Kim “Rooster” Rossiter, father of Ainsley Rossiter, the group’s namesake, was at the event and was touched to see the participation.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “It lets me know that what me and my sister did a few years back is finally becoming a huge reality and that everyone is getting to be included in events like this. It feels overwhelming but absolutely amazing.”
Representatives from different chapters of Ainsley’s Angels — Texas, Alabama, Mississippi — attended the event as well. Rossiter said 500 bibs and medals were given out to 150 runners from around the world, including participants from New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, and about 30 U.S. states, in addition to 300 other participants in the race.
Logan Boudreaux, a team captain with Down syndrome, participated in the race and was awarded a medal. Her mother, Ann, and her family were there to cheer her on.
“We always come to Logan’s events whether it would be the Special Olympics or something like this,” her mother said. “She was so excited when the race took off. I know we’ll definitely be here next year.”
Dan Dozier, an individual runner, said he was inspired by the teamwork shown in the race. “I want to give my medal to the guys behind me,” he said. “They’re real tough guys behind me. It’s a really great cause, and I’m really happy to be a part of it.”
Anthony Cantrell was an angel for Jace Fontenot’s team. “I feel great,” he said. “Just knowing this little man is smiling, feeling himself run, is a great experience.”
For the family on the sidelines it created an unforgettable memory.
“I was excited to see him so excited,” said Tiffany Fontenot, Jace’s mother. “I’m excited when he’s excited, and I love to see him excited.”
To see more photos, visit http://photos.americanpress.com/ainsleys5k