Tim Singleton, 76: Started Peachtree Road Race

Tim Singleton, the founder of the Peachtree Road Race, died Wednesday. He was 76.

Singleton, who coached cross country at Georgia State University in the ‘60s, came up with the idea for the race after trekking to a July Fourth race at Fort Benning for two years.

“I figured that half of the 300 runners came from Atlanta anyway, so why go all the way down there when we can have our own race here,” he said, during a 2003 interview with The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

“One of my thoughts was to run around Stone Mountain and finish at the top,” Singleton, who lived in Dahlonega, recalled in 2008. “About five miles around it, with another mile to the top. We talked about that, but then said, ‘No, let’s do something in the city.’ “

The first race was run in 1970 and drew over 100 runners. Singleton got the idea of the Peachtree Road Race T-shirt the next year, after running the Boston Marathon.

Singleton served as the event’s director through the 1975 race. In 1976, he earned a doctorate and moved to Houston to teach business management at a small college for 13 years. In 1989 he accepted a teaching post at North Georgia College in Dahlonega.

Funeral arrangements, to be handled by Dahlonega Funeral Home, are pending.