For Finnish runner and Aonach Athlete Tomi Tiiperi, running is a therapeutic journey that weaves through the aisles of his supermarket responsibilities and stretches across finish lines.
Running can captivate us in many ways. For some, it’s the endless journey of improved physical health and cardiovascular fitness, while others become intoxicated by the thrill of competition. It also delves into the realm of mental well-being thanks to the release of endorphins, which serve as a powerful stress-relief mechanism, transforming running into a therapeutic experience.
Finnish runner and Aonach Athlete Tomi Tiiperi is among those hooked by the need to lace up his running shoes after a stressful day. “I run to clear my mind; it’s a mentally purifying period. I run faster when it has been a very rough workday, transforming me into a new man once I get home to my family,” he admits.
From Footballer to FrontRunner
For about 20 years, Tomi Tiiperi played football as a winger, but his knees couldn't handle the sudden stops and rapid turns anymore. “My dad once advised me to stop football and run, but football was my life. After the birth of my daughter, however, I didn't want to be away from home, and all the matches were at night. So, I switched to going to the gym five days a week instead.”
When a back injury sidelined him for six weeks, his wife suggested running as an alternative. “I thought running alone would be terrible, but I was hooked within a month. I realized that I am fast. I can go faster. I can go further. Here I am eight years later, running almost daily through the winter and all weather. Competitively, I mostly do half marathons, but my first full marathon will come later this year, and I’m heading abroad for it.”
Tomi's running journey includes conquering the Helsinki Half Marathon and dedicating three years to being an ambassador for the Helsinki City Run. Beyond these accomplishments, he holds the esteemed position of ambassador for Maurten, a distinguished sports drink manufacturer. Additionally, he is a proud member of Asics FrontRunner, which gave him one of his most cherished running-related memories.
“Last summer, I had the incredible opportunity to visit Budapest as part of the World Athletics Championships, courtesy of Asics. I have photos on Instagram where I am carrying the Asics flag, leading a group of 150 runners through the packed streets of Budapest immediately after the marathon—we even had a police motorcycle escort. I am getting chills at the memory.”
As part of the Asics FrontRunner community, which boasts around 7-800 members globally, Tomi Tiiperi is proud to represent Finland alongside 11 others. “Asics’ philosophy, encapsulated in the slogan 'Sound Mind, Sound Body,’ resonates with my approach to running. For me, it underscores the importance of self-care, which empowers us to achieve more in life.”
From 10k to K-Market
Tomi Tiiperi has worked for K-Market, a Finnish grocery store chain, for over 20 years and is about to manage his own shop. “The first few months are hectic when you start your store. It's long days, long weeks—I’ve heard stories about people who have dropped everything in their lives, and it’s all work, work, work. But my passion for running is strong.”
Since age five, sports have been a part of his life and an outlet to keep him sane. “If I don't run for a week, my wife tells me to go out because she can see I'm stressed. Working in a supermarket also means talking with many people over a day, so running gives me peace and alone time. I plan to put runs into my work calendar or even install a treadmill in the store,” he laughs.
While he has no running goals for 2024 and acknowledges that there won’t be any PBs, his primary goals are to have fun, care for himself, and maintain a healthy work-life balance. He has learned not to stress about running too much, to run when you can, and to enjoy the moments so that we won’t hear stories about a supermarket manager insanely jogging on the store’s checkout conveyor belts anytime soon.
“When I began running, I consistently tracked my mileage by the week, month, and year and always felt it needed to be higher. For two years now, I haven't looked at all. If I must run more, I run. If I have days when I'm tired, or my wife or daughter needs me, I don't run it. It's okay with me. This has been the biggest lesson. When I stressed too much about it, I didn't enjoy it that much anymore. But now I've found a balance.”
--Embark on your journey of well-being through running. Whether you're aiming for marathons or a peaceful jog, join the rhythm of resilience. Contact Aonach to start your journey today!