John Beishline, director of the Buffalo Marathon - The Buffalo News
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John Beishline, director of the Buffalo Marathon

Jan. 4, 1931 – Dec. 10, 2013

John Beishline, a prominent figure in Western New York’s running community, died Tuesday in Kenmore Mercy Hospital, Town of Tonawanda. He was 82.

The retired owner of Beishline Executive Search helped resurrect the Buffalo Marathon in 2000 and, as race director, saw the race grow each year. Under his leadership, the marathon attracted nearly 6,000 participants this year.

“John was a tireless individual whose dedication to running and managing local runs has touched thousands of runners across not only Western New York, but also runners around the world who’ve taken part in his races,” said Tom Donnelly, interim race director for the Buffalo Marathon.

Beishline served with and operated Western New York Finish Line Services for more than 30 years and provided timing for more than 85 races each year. He also served as a race consultant to new races for more than 25 years for free and was a certified race official.

Among his other contributions to the running community were serving as the marathon race director for the World University Games in Buffalo in 1993 and as race director for the World Veterans Games and for the Engineering Run for 27 years. He also organized the Bullfeathers/Nickel City Run in 1989 and was president of the Niagara Region of USA Track and Field from 1991 to 1996.

His individual running career included many local, sectional, national and international races, and he completed the Boston Marathon in three hours, 20 minutes.

He was among the first to be inducted into the Western New York Runners Hall of Fame. Mr. Beishline was the executive administrative director and two-time past president of the Engineering Society of Buffalo and a longtime member of Augustana Lutheran Church.

Survivors include his wife, Joanne; three sons, James, Richard and John R. Jr.; two daughters, Denise Schneider and Michelle, a stepdaughter, Debi Coleman; a sister, Judy Persing, and a brother, Thomas.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in Augustana Lutheran Church, 3143 Eggert Road, Town of Tonawanda.

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