Pushing For Angels

One of the great things about our sport is there are so many ways to pair running with other passions in our lives. It gives us a chance to enjoy running while supporting charities or causes, creating awareness and sharing stories about special people.

There are a lot of good causes and events out there but one worth particular mention is Ainsley’s Angels, which is hosting its Sunrise 5K this Saturday at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Moorhead.

Tom Donaldson has been working to get out the message about the race. Tom has been a major driving force in charity running for a number of years, especially with the Fargo and Chicago marathons. If there were a community running hall of fame in Fargo, Tom would be a charter member.

Tom was gracious enough to share a few thoughts about the Ainsley’s Angels race Saturday:

“Ainsley’s Angels is an organization that pairs runners with special needs people. The runners push the special needs people (Angels) in adaptive racing strollers in road races in the area. Ainsley’s Angels provides the chairs and the runners (pushers) and any person with special needs is invited to participate with no cost to the Angel.

“I got involved a couple of years ago when I finished my board term with a different charity. I met our local ambassador, Christine Hamre, at charity runner meetings and thought Ainsley’s Angels was a perfect fit for any runner who wishes to be involved in community service.

“We are a local organization that is part of a national Ainsley’s Angels organization. There are many (ambassadorships) throughout the U.S. This year, a runner (Shaun Evans) affiliated with the national organization will push his son from Moorhead to Lake Charles, Louisiana, during the month of July to raise awareness of Ainsley’s Angels.

“… Our 5k, called the Sunrise 5k, will be the send off race for him and his son. They will continue on to Detroit Lakes that day and eventually on down the Mississippi. At stops, they will be awarding people with special needs family members adaptive racing strollers like the ones we use. On July 29 in Lake Charles, there will be a concluding 5k called the Sunset 5k.

“Our race is a family friendly event and we invite any runner or walker to join us. Several of us will be pushing Angels that day. Everyone receives a medal and a shirt, we will have door prizes, and special donuts for all.”

Find out more at the event’s Facebook page or register here. Learn more about Ainsley’s Angels of America and help Shaun and his son on their journey.

Can’t make it to Moorhead for the race? There’s also a virtual registration option … so no matter where you are, you can help support a terrific cause.