A race for change: Wings for Life World Run x F.E.A.R MKE

How to break through fear? Find appreciation. 

The world’s largest run is set to commence on May 5th. It’s a run everybody starts at the same time, wherever you are in the world. It’s a run that changes the definition of running; a run aimed at changing the lives of those affected by spinal cord injuries. The Wings for Life World Run is a global organized run that invites all people to run, walk, jog, and roll—together. It’s a run rooted in togetherness and transformation, all entry fees and donations go directly to spinal cord research to help find a cure for spinal cord injury.

Tenia Fisher understands the concept of using running as a vehicle for change, as the Director of F.E.A.R Milwaukee, a local running group created with the mission of creating an inclusive community that empowers all people to run. Tenia has an unwavering commitment to building community through running.

Tenia Fisher

“It’s a run crew that encourages everybody to run,” Fisher explained. “We wanted to create a safe space for all runners no matter what ability or level of running, even if there’s no running. We wanted to provide a safe haven for runners of color and to change the narrative as well, to make sure people of color are seen and celebrated, and that there are more than just your typical “runners” that you see. Running can be all different body types, all different colors, all different shapes and sizes.” 

F.E.A.R stands for “forget everything and run,” Fisher explained how many are deterred from running from the beginning because of the stigma around who you need to be or what you need to look like to run. F.E.A.R MKE exists to break the mold and diminish the anxiety so many have attached to running. 

The Wings for Life World Run puts F.E.A.R MKE’s mission into an even deeper perspective:

Not everyone can run. Some people would do anything to move their legs in stride, but science isn’t there yet. To have the ability to run but let optics discourage you is a shame. Don’t succumb to fear. Appreciate your abilities. Forget everything and run. 

Fisher shared, “To hear that it’s to help people with disabilities and spinal cord injuries, people that can’t just easily get out and run; I am extremely grateful that I’m able to get out of my bed and walk on my own two feet, that’s something I don’t take lightly or for granted. I think it’s very powerful for us to be able to support a mission like that. Also to open our doors to being even more inclusive. Their wheels are their legs.” 

So on, May 5 at 6:00 am CST, Fisher and her crew will be gathering at their usual meeting spot, Mobay Cafe, a Black-owned and women-owned business in Milwaukee, and will use the community they’ve created to spread awareness around a cause that has profound impacts on the betterment of society. 

For 10 years, Fisher and F.E.A.R have been welcoming people into their crew and inspiring them to run, the result is a community, a family. “Being one of the most segregated cities in America, I thought this would be the perfect way to bring people together,” she said. After a decade, people who never identified as runners are now running race distances of double-digit numbers. They are running charged with the support of one another. And every one looks different, no runner looks the same. 

“I try not to be a part of anything that doesn’t make sense to me and my community,” Fisher said. “I’m very grateful and humbled that Red Bull reached out to me. We want to make our community inclusive to everybody.” 

Registration is still open for the Wings for Life World Run. Gather your community and join people around the world on May 5th for a race that’s aimed at change.