Ronald MacDonald was born in Canada, but moved to Boston in his youth with his family and worked for the New England Telephone Company at a young age. He took up running at the encouragement of his older brother, Alex, who was a professional, and won his first race in 1896. His biggest career victory came two years later when he won the second edition of the Boston Marathon in a time considered the world's best (although the distance for the marathon had not yet been standardized). Thereafter he became heavily involved in athletics – so much so that he dropped out of Boston College – and represented Canada in the marathon at the 1900 Summer Olympics, placing seventh and last among the finishers. He also competed in the 1901 and 1902 Boston Marathons, but did not finish either, although he remained an active participant in long distance races for the remainder of the decade.
MacDonald eventually entered St. Francis Xavier University for a pre-medical course and followed up his studies at Tufts and Harvard. During this time he set Canadian records in the 3 and 5 mile distances, as well as what was considered a world best for the one mile indoor (although world indoor records were not yet recognized). He then worked the remainder of his life as a practicing physician in several Newfoundland and Nova Scotia towns and was inducted into the Sport Nova Scotia Hall of Fame in 1979.
Personal Best: Mar – unknown.
Athlete Olympic Results Content