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Spotlight: Ainsley’s Angels of America

All children can benefit from the exercise, energy release, and pure enjoyment of playing sports or outdoor activities. This includes children with special needs.

About 9 in 50 children in the U.S. have a disability or chronic health problem.

Ainsley’s Angels Rollin’ on Rocky Top 5k is open to all people no matter their ability, all coming together to support healthy living in every person.


It all began in 2008 when Ainsley went for her first jog during a local road race. She gave a radiant wind-induced smile that anyone would envy. In an instant, running provided the family with a therapeutic means to fight the devastation associated with learning and trying to live with sweet Ainsley’s terminal illness, which would eventually take her to heaven in February of 2016.

Her smile on the race course, the positive energy surrounding the start line, the other Angel Athlete riders and Angel runners smiling from ear to ear, the togetherness of every member preparing to ‘roll with the wind’, the fearlessness of the athletes, the normalcy of the family, and the love everyone shares is a therapy like no other! This experience is now known as the first of 100 road races Ainsley has completed, to include nearly 20 half-marathons, as well as the 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 Marine Corps Marathons in Washington D.C. Ainsley’s, now, 15 year old sister, Briley, joined her for 30 of these races and the family has discovered first-hand the therapeutic effects of these races…again, not only for Ainsley, but for her entire family and now for the entire Ainsley’s Angels of America FAMILY!

At Ainsley’s Angels of America, we aim to ensure everyone can experience endurance events. Ainsley’s Angels of America aims to build awareness about America’s special needs community through inclusion in all aspects of life, serving as advocates to providing education and participating as active members in local communities. We believe EVERYONE deserves to be included.

Ainsley’s Angels of America is excited to announce the Rollin’ on Rocky Top 5k is returning in 2021! They will be starting and finishing at the UT Gardens Sunday, September 26, 2021 at 4PM – 7PM.

Ainsley’s Angels in East Tennessee’s high-spirited, inclusion-inspired race raises vital dollars to support athlete riders and the Ainsley’s Angel’s mission in East Tennessee. The 5k race includes a friendly course for runners, walkers and athletes of all abilities, with rider athletes being the primary focus-getting them off sidelines and over finish lines. The race includes live music, giveaways, medals and t-shirts for all competitors and much more! This event is meant to allow angel runners, athlete riders and the entire community to come together and celebrate inclusion. This is a family-friendly event-runners and walkers are welcome!

Can’t join on race day? That’s OK! You can walk, jog, or roll from anywhere, at any time. Just choose the “Virtual” option. Participating virtually means that you run your distance (honor system) in your own location, whenever you choose and you still get the bling!*

*Virtual participants are not eligible for race day awards.



Ainsley inspired the creation of Ainsley's Angels of America, the writing of a children’s book by her sister Briley Rossiter, the Ainsley's Angels Race Series, and thousands across the Nation. Available in Braille as well.




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