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Trenton native Paul MacDonald remembered annually through Melmerby Triathlon Award

Paul MacDonald is shown from a 1994 edition of The Evening News.
Paul MacDonald is shown from a 1994 edition of The Evening News. - contributed

TRENTON - 
Pictou County resident Chris DeYoung remembers his friend Paul MacDonald, who died suddenly in 2005. To remember MacDonald, an award has been named after him, which is handed out every year during the Melmerby Triathlon. 
“Paul and I grew up together in Trenton, playing basketball in high school and summer leagues,” says DeYoung.
“He coaxed me into my first running event in Westville in 1990, and after that, I did a few more. He was into the triathlon by then, he finished top local one of the first years doing it." 
DeYoung remembers that MacDonald subscribed to Triathlete Magazine and had stacks of old issues in his bedroom. 
“Back then, it was just one Olympic distance race they called the Highland Challenge, which ran up that big Merb hill for the run part,” DeYoung said. 
“I tried out the challenge and got hooked too. I would bike with Paul long hours, as that was his favourite part of it.”
Fourteen years ago, not long before the 2005 Melmerby Triathlon, MacDonald died of a stroke. The Paul MacDonald Award is given out every year to someone participating in the triathlon. 
“That person is chosen based on someone who reminds us a little of Paul in some way. Doing it for friendship, and fitness, but also laid back and humble, as Paul was too,” DeYoung said.
“What I like now is, even though a lot of people doing the triathlons don't know who he was, they often ask about him because of the award, and it has become an honour to be presented with it in memory of such a special and well-liked athlete."
DeYoung says it helps keep MacDonald's memory alive. 
“Janet Purdy (Paul's sister) and I are doing our best to keep his spirit alive each year during the triathlon. I am often told by people who knew him what a great guy and athlete he was, and we miss him.”

The Paul MacDonald Award.
The Paul MacDonald Award.

 

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