Run Calgary is going beyond the timing data, finish line medals and social media posts to share meaningful stories of people impacted by the Calgary Marathon over the last six decades. In this Q&A series, we are tracking down those who have held the title ‘Race Director’ to hear what they remember, what they learned and where they are now.
Meet Cheryl Lowery, Race Director of the Calgary Marathon from 2008 to 2018!
WHAT IS THE RUNNING ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
In my competitive days, I was a much better triathlete than runner! I’m proud of the fact that, as a runner, I’ve been able to share the experience with my family across three generations running races with my Dad, my husband, my brother and my daughter (in some cases, all at the same race). It’s one of my favourite things about the sport – that it can be enjoyed by and shared with all ages.
HOW DID YOU FIND YOURSELF IN THE ROLE OF RACE DIRECTOR FOR THE CALGARY MARATHON?
At the time, an acquaintance of mine was on the board. We knew each other from the running community and he had run my K-100 Relay Race many times. They were looking for somebody to fill the contract role of Race Director. One conversation led to another and I was RD for 10 years.
WHAT DID YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING THE RACE DIRECTOR?
What I loved most is the people I met, who I’m still happy to call my friends. I “inherited” a really great group of people on the volunteer committee, many of whom stayed during my tenure. I’m still in regular touch with many of them.
WHAT SURPRISED YOU MOST ABOUT THE ROLE?
I was a bit surprised by the number of police resources required as I hadn’t experienced that level before!
WHAT IS YOUR SINGLE MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT FROM YOUR TIME AS RACE DIRECTOR?
There are many memorable moments but one that really stands out is the year that the charity MitoCanada made their (successful) Guinness World Record attempt for the most linked people to run a marathon. There had been many logistics behind that attempt from making sure they had extra washrooms at certain points to minimize their stopping, to creating a clear path for them to get through the crowds. I confess to some tears and quick “run by hugs” as they rounded a corner for their last km and we knew they were going to get the record.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR RACE COMPANY AND EVENTS?
I own and operate Be There Races. We organize five races through the year as well as contracting to other events. We have some unique races on the calendar including our iconic and long running Kananaskis 100 Mile Relay race (my personal favourite).
WHAT ARE YOUR PERSONAL RUNNING GOALS?
To keep on doing it!
Stay tuned for more Q&A insights from past Race Directors like Cheryl!
Do you know someone with a remarkable Calgary Marathon to share? Send us an email at email@example.com