Thursday, October 28, 2021

Episode 58: Running on Faith, Books and Goals with Thomas Dean

EPISODE 58 with guest Tom Dean can be heard on Google, Spotify, Apple, Anchor or most podcast apps!

Hood To Coast Relay Team, 2021

Tom Dean surrounded by books in his work as a publisher, including themes of faith and running!

 Tom Dean is one of the rare individuals who are able to connect their life work to their passion areas, in creating synergy between running, faith and work life! He sets the bar high for those of us exploring running culture and what it is to make a good life. From the perspective of a running anthropologist, this is not one to miss! Hear about some of Tom’s favorite runs, books, and join us as we journey through a few decades of devotion to running. 

For Tom, the ability to work with and publish the likes of Ryan Hall (Run the Mile You’re In: Finding God in Every Step) and Sanya Richard Ross (Chasing Grace) has been a gift and learning experience he has applied many lessons to his faith and personal life. With an incredible background and skill set in book publishing and marketing, Tom then took this and applied it to sharing the gospel (of running and his faith). Integration of various aspects of our being and what we value may seem hard to do at times, yet running is a passion which parallels so many other life and happiness factors. This is a reminder of one of my favorite spiritual psychology quotes from logotherapist Dr. Viktor Frankl, “Happiness cannot be sought, but must ensue from the search for meaning.”

In this conversation, we cover a wide range of topics in work and running, but focus on his most recent Hood to Coast endeavour and meeting his goal of 1,000 miles per year for over a decade! What motivates him, allows him to reach his goals and keeps him running each day? Well, some of it you’ll have to listen to find out, but one tip is setting a monthly goal and having target races, and not getting too distraught if  ‘our best-made plans don’t turn out the first time’.  For Tom, the important thing is setting both reasonable and attainable goals that we can build on over time, and keeping his spiritual life at the center of all he does. Reflecting on our conversation, I realize this applies to not only running, also career challenges and life transitions, which we’ve all had a lot of the past 2 years during Covid! And his wisdom shared here certainly translates to family and other relationships we value. 

Tom can be found on social media @thomaspdean or find his publishing company at As always, look forward to hearing your impressions and what you have to share in the world of running, spirituality and running as therapy!  Please private message us @runninganthropologist on IG or FB, or leave a message in the comments section of our blogsite. Until next time, Happy Running!