It is Father’s Day in Branford, a crowd of thousands has gathered for a near half century event that has been managed by John Bysiewicz. John, already a highly successful runner, took over the race and has built it into a Branford tradition. He coordinates hundreds of volunteers, sponsors, course management and numerous logistical necessities. To the thousands of competitors it is the top race on their annual schedule, bringing families together with a festival atmosphere. And behind the scenes, dozens of organizations will receive charitable contributions from the race. John repeats this effort in over twenty other events throughout the year.
John grew up in Middletown running cross country and track for the Tigers. During his tenure at Middletown they were Class M State Champions in Track and Field in 1978 and 1979. John was an outstanding distance runner, qualifying for the State Open in 1980.
John went on to further his running resume at the University of Connecticut, competing in cross country, indoor and outdoor track during his four years at Storrs.He had a distinguished career culminating with a stellar senior year earning All- New England in cross country, and All-Big East in the 10,000 meters.
After UCONN, John hit the road racing circuit and continued his success, winning a USATF 10-mile, half marathon and 12K state championship. It is estimated he was victorious in over 100 races during the 1980’s. He also continued his education, pursuing a MBA from William & Mary in 1989.
Upon graduation, with his MBA in hand, John began a road race management company, JB Sports in Branford. Combining his passion for running with his business acumen, JB Sports would become a top race management company in New England. The prestigious New Haven Labor Day Race, a national championship event, has blossomed under John’s watchful eye. Other top events include the Fairfield Half Marathon, Christopher Martin’s 5k for Children, Special Olympics World Games Marathon and Half Marathon in 1995, Shamrock and Roll 5k, Run for the Refugees and of course our hometown Branford Road Race on Father’s Day. Over the decades John and his event management company JB Sports have coordinated nearly 1,000 events and raised nearly $50,000,000 for charitable organizations.
John transitioned his personal competitive efforts into the triathlon, competing in many local events and doing very well in his age group. While out training on his bike last fall, John was struck by a motorist on Route 146 . As a result of the accident John lost his lower left leg. He underwent numerous surgeries and extensive rehabilitation. John became the embodiment of courage and determination to many, teaching himself how to walk again, and resumed swimming and biking. John returned to his duties this spring, orchestrating the many facets of road race management.
John is a resident of Stony Creek, he has been married to his wife Jennifer Glass for over thirty years and is the proud father of three daughters , Sophie, Isabel and Raissi. His family is actively involved in running, all three daughters competed for Branford High School and together with their mom, are frequent competitors in local races.