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Open Mic Friday: Meet Topher

Open_mic_friday_2 We hope you've already met Topher through his blog.  Amy and I stumbled across him last summer and instantly admired his blended passion for running and donuts.  He's a great ambassador for both.  We appreciate his wit and friendliness and wanted to share him with others who might might want some uplifting.

Tell us about your unique relationship with donuts and running.

First_race2 Contrary to popular belief, I don’t eat donuts quite as often as one would think for someone who has a blog titled I’ll Run for Donuts. Don’t get me wrong, I love donuts and I’ll run faster if there’s the promise of donuts at the end. My first job was working in a Daylight Donut shop. I guess that explains why my Wranglers said “husky” on the tag and I could barely run a lap around the track in gym. My love for running started in 2006 when we bought a treadmill. I started out walking, but I was eventually walking so fast that I figured I might as well run. I ran my first ever race, a 2-miler, in a small town in Montana in 2006 and placed 1st in my age group. That race taught me one thing: it’s easy to place 1st when you’re the only runner in your age group.

Advice for a beginning runner

It didn’t take long to realize that running isn’t necessarily a competitive sport. Sure there are those elites who race to win, but most of us seem to do it for the t-shirts. What I found as a beginning runner is that experienced runners are thrilled to see new people take up the sport and are more than willing to take you under their wing. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of people who run faster, weigh 30 pounds less than you, or have cooler running gear. They’re a valuable resource and seem to really enjoy helping newbies figure things out. Blogging is a great way to build your network and learn from others’ triumphs and mistakes, and it’s fun to go back to early posts and see how far you’ve come.

You have a great blog.  How did you get started and what keeps your creative juices flowing?

I started blogging a few years ago to document things happening in our lives for the benefit of family members who live far away. Then I found myself writing more about running and less about what household object one of my kids got stuck in which unlikely place. I think said family members got tired of reading about chaffing and blisters so I started I’ll Run for Donuts. As far as finding things to write about, I start out by meditating while listening to the cool sounds of either Yanni or John Tesh. When that doesn’t work, I usually just write about something funny that I saw or did on my last run. It’s a crap shoot, really.

Fam_closeup_4 What are your dreams and goals for running? 

I have a list of dream races I’d like to run. I’d love to run the Dunkin Donuts Cape Cod Marathon (for obvious reasons), the Tokyo Marathon (because I lived there for several years), the NYC Marathon (what a cool way to see the city), and Big Sur (awesome scenery), to name a few. I’ve yet to run a full marathon, but it’s a goal for 2008. I really enjoy the half, though, because it’s an easier training schedule and oftentimes people don’t listen to the “half” part. Then you end up getting credit in their minds for running a full marathon. Who am I to say “No, dummy, I said HALF marathon”? I’d love to cross the finish line of a marathon hand-in-hand with my wife. She rocks! I have also run several fun runs with my three boys. I hope they grow up to be runners, too.

Any heroes?

Anyone who overcomes a challenge to reach a goal is definitely a hero to me. There are many people in my life who fit that description, and they are a constant reminder to me that whatever one sets their mind to can be achieved.

Running tights or bike shorts?

I think we’re finished here.


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Ah Topher. Great post. You were a great find, always love to read your blog. I keep wanting to tell you there is a Donut Run in Ames coming up!!

Who knew you snagged a gorgeous wife? Very handsome boys, too. I love the virtual race where you were on the treadmill and lined them up in chairs to watch. The picture was so funny!!

Take care!


Great post, and I'm headed over to the blog to read more.

Bob Allen

I keep looking for a race where I'm the only one in my age group. Based on experience to date, that won't happen until I'm at least 80 and by then, those guys who currently beat me in the 50-54 age group will still be running. My goal has been to live to be 125 -- maybe in the year 2078....


We're just going to let him get away with not answering that last question? The interview was just about to get juicy. ;)


Topher, so glad to see you profiled here! You were one of the first running blogs I found, and so I blame you for getting me hooked on this whole running-blogger thing. Hope to see you in NYC this November!


Great interview! Gotta check out his blog.

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