Peter Pressman, a fixture among Middle Tennessee runners, died over the weekend from apparent cardiac arrest.
He was the president of the Nashville Striders running club and one of the sport's leading advocates locally.
Pressman was organizing a training run for next month's Rock 'N' Roll Marathon when he collapsed suddenly early Sunday morning.
It was the sort of activity for which Pressman was well-known: He was dedicated to helping runners unlock their potential, says Diana Bibeau, a longtime Striders' member.
"He has inspired just thousands of thousands of people to become better runners, or even just to start walking or running," she says.
Pressman helped promote the Rock 'N' Roll Marathon and scores of smaller races around Middle Tennessee. And, at 72, he was an active marathoner himself, having set a late-in-life goal of running one in all 50 states —despite having a titanium rod inserted in his femur following a fall nine years ago.
Pressman also set up a scholarship fund for young runners and worked with Achilles International, a charity that helps people with disabilities compete in running events.
This post has been corrected to reflect the likelihood that Pressman died of apparent cardiac arrest brought on by ventricular fibrillation. A previous version misstated his medical condition.