Canadian Running


- — Madeleine Kelly

As the daughter of Canada Running Series founder Alan Brookes, Charlotte Brookes’s education in running began early—she started doing race registrati­on at age nine and has never stopped. As crs’s event director, she has has likely had a hand in putting on one of your favourite races.

Charlotte’s importance to the Canadian running scene goes well beyond planning many of the country’s biggest running events; what sticks with people is her attentiven­ess to the participan­t experience and the community as a whole. Lynn Bourque, owner of The Runners Shop in Toronto and a longtime race director, says, “What I find so admirable about Charlotte is that she will be the first person to show up at your race to volunteer, always answers the phone when you need advice and recognizes that we’re all in this together. She understand­s that making my little race (or any race) better, makes the whole community better. I have always deeply admired her for that.”

For Brookes, it’s all about the runners: “My hope is that everyone has this incredible and memorable experience at our events—from the first person to the last person.” One memory sticks out: “In the early days I did customer service,” she explains. “This woman called me. She’d just lost her husband. She really wanted to do the marathon in his memory, but she wasn’t sure if she’d be able to complete it before the time cutoff. Over the course of the next few months she’d call me and update me on her running progress.” Brookes and several other staffers went to the finish line to cheer her in, and she tears up at the memory of watching her finish the race: “It’s these moments that drive us to help people reach a little furthur than they thought they could.”

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