Ragnar Spotlight Athlete: Major Kim ‘Rooster’ Rossiter
Whoa, talk about inspiring! Major Kim “Rooster” Rossiter is an advocate within the special needs community, retired Marine officer, and our next Athlete of April. He is also the founder and president of Ainsley’s Angels. The goal of this incredible organization was, and still is, to “ensure everyone can experience endurance events… (and) build awareness about America’s special needs community through inclusion in all aspects of life.” His spirit of inclusion is incredibly inspiring and we are honored to introduce all of you to Rooster!
How have these races been therapeutic for families, runners, and riders alike?
“To be included is to be accepted. Accepted, regardless of your different abilities. We have seen emotional impacts reach far beyond the finish line, as confidence is gained from being included! I could write and talk about these impacts for hours and share hundreds of stories of accomplishment! From the mom and dad that never thought they would be able to enjoy 2 hours of respite walking about a nearby lake together, hand in hand, while their 30-year-old son was pushed in a half marathon, to the siblings that have been able to now run with their brothers and sisters, enjoying being athletes together! We once had an athlete rider complete Ragnar DC, listen to this 3-minute video!”
What is your “why” for starting Ainsley’s Angels?
“EVERYONE shall be included. There is no reason for someone to have to be on the sidelines when we can all work together to ensure everyone can cross the finish line!
To educate, to advocate, to celebrate….these are our daily goals. Pure execution through daily active advocacy!”
We are so grateful for your work to support and empower those in the special needs community, how has this movement grown since the inception of Ainsley’s Angels?
“Since 2011, the movement has grown considerably. Over 25,000 Ainsley’s Angels members across 34 states, to be exact. We have been invited to partake in races, vice having to sometimes “beg” race directors to include us. Since Ainsley became the first-ever Athlete rider to partake in a Ragnar Road race in 2014, we have had over 50 Athlete riders become Ragnarians…. many even earning the ULTRA RAGANARIAN title! We look forward to more Ragnar Road events in the future and can without a doubt share that we have at least a dozen runners and two or three riders sign up to join Ainsley’s Angels soon after each Ragnar Road race, after seeing us along the 200-ish mile course!”
How did the phrase “Roll with the wind” come about?
“On race day, Ainsley’s mom (Lori) would prepare signs of cheer for Ainsley’s big race days. Lori and Ainsley’s siblings (Briley and Kamden) would hold them up and cheer her and me on. Because we live in Virginia Beach and often ran on the VB Oceanfront, the wind was always present and Ainsley’s face would light up as the wind (breeze) hit her face. So, “Roll with the Wind” we did, and we did and we did!”