Athletics News – News – ‘Big Race Kole’ Has A Few More Targets On The Horizon - News - 'Big Race Kole' Has A Few More Targets On The Horizon

Carmel IN Senior, A ‘Missionary Kid,’ Dedicates His Running Success To God

By David Woods for DyeStat

CARMEL, Ind. – Before he was breaking records, winning a national title, racing on a world stage or targeting a sub-4-minute mile, Kole Mathison was a missionary kid wondering what it all meant.

The future Carmel High School runner knew he had endurance. He learned that from a shuttle run at school measuring aerobic capacity. Mathison – pronounced muh-TEE-sun in Danish – obliterated the record.

He won his first race, and he kept winning. Then it occurred to him.

What if I don’t win?

Another race was coming up on the Northview Church cross country course, and everyone said Kole would win. He knelt to pray, teammates urging each other to be quiet.

 He has vivid recall of the whistle blowing and the start pistol firing. He said he went out “guns blazing” and noticed his mother cheering about 400 meters into it.

“I collapsed, started crying, stopped,” he said. “I didn’t finish the race. Didn’t want to.”

He was 10.

Mathison spoke to his parents, Scott and Amy, about it. Together, they watched the movie “Chariots of Fire” about Eric Liddell, who famously refused to run on Sundays, switched events and won the 400 meters at the 1924 Paris Olympics. And Liddell became a missionary in China, where Mathison lived the first two years of his life.

The boy continued going to practice. He would not race.

“At that point, we thought, ‘Well, maybe he’s never going to run again,’ “ his mother said.

The next year, however, was a new beginning. Kole was in middle school, and no one expected a sixth-grader to beat boys two years older.

At the 2016 middle school state meet, he was No. 7 runner on a team finishing second on a tiebreaker. Contributing to such a good team, well, that was satisfying. So was an individual state title as an eighth-grader.

Still, not enough. Mathison loved basketball, too. He could have gone on in that sport. If he devoted himself to running, he had to discover a different motivation, one not as stressful.

Mathison did not quote Liddell. A century ago, the Scottish sprinter said:

I believe that God made me for a purpose. But He also made me fast, and when I run, I feel his pleasure.

Mathison’s faith journey is his own, not Liddell’s. But the Carmel runner changed his mind-set, and it represented a turning point.

“Running is my favorite thing to do. I really enjoy it,” he said. “But it’s really…

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