Citizen of the Year Diane Hayduk

Diane Hayduk (center) was named Citizen of the Year at the annual Lacombe & District Chamber Awards Gala. (Photo submitted)

Diane Hayduk (center) was named Citizen of the Year at the annual Lacombe & District Chamber Awards Gala. (Photo submitted)

Diane Hayduk can now consider herself, ‘one of the greats’.

Named Citizen of the Year through the 2021 Lacombe & District Chamber of Commerce Awards last week, Hayduk said that when the chamber called her at the end of August she was very surprised.

“Someone said ‘I want to nominate you’, and I was like,’yeah whatever there’s a few thousand other people to nominate’.”

Hayduk didn’t get involved in the community for the glory. When she found herself in an empty house and more free time, she decided she needed to find something to do to keep busy and snowballed from there.

“I was an empty-nester, I started running and doing ultra runs and death races. I’ve been doing that for a while and then I thought it might be time to do something else.”

Now, Hayduk is the vice president of the Bill Nielsen Trail Society in Lacombe and is also involved with FCSS and the Lacombe Athletic Park Association.

In past years Hayduk has taken an interest in the winner’s of the awards, but never considered herself one.

The award is a nice wrap up to the strange year she has had though, says Hayduk. She has also been battling cancer this year, which would slow down others but for Hayduk the passion is enough to keep her going.

“When you’re passionate about something, like the trails and running, its just automatic,” she says. “Things come into your life and you’re like, sure I’ll give it a shot.”