Kevin Mathewson Went From A Sprinter Mindset To An Ultra Marathoner

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Today’s guest may be a familiar name to some of you, as he’s been pretty active in the FB group over the years.

Among his many titles are husband, father, runner, and cancer survivor.

I’m looking forward to digging a bit deeper into his story as I go a few easy miles with Kevin Mathewson today!

Kevin Mathewson

Active Family

Kevin Mathewson grew up in Montana in a family that was always outside.

He stayed active in a variety of ways including hunting and fishing.

Running first entered his life when he entered junior high.

Kevin ran track starting in junior high and continued till he graduated from college.

He was mainly a sprinter and did hurdles.

Post-college, Kevin remained active but didn’t run as much.

Anytime he did attempt to run he would often go out too fast, which he attributed to his sprinter mindset.

Jumping In With Both Feet

The next time running would enter Kevin’s life would be 20 years later when he was married and had a family.

His co-workers were mostly runners and they convinced him to sign up for a local 10k with them.

Kevin wanted to ensure that he could run the distance prior to the race.

He only had 10 days until race day, so he went from 0 to 6 miles in one day.

His first 10k was in September of 2015 and he was hooked from that moment.

One of his running friends ran ultras and convinced Kevin to pace him in a race only 30 days later.

Kevin completed his first 50k one month after he began running.

He learned that when he slowed down, he could go farther.

Kevin Mathewson

Trial And Error

In the early days of his running, Kevin had no concept of training.

Every day he would just try to go farther than he did the day before.

Completing his first ultra so early on taught him a lot of lessons.

He learned that so much of running distance comes down to mental strength.

Our bodies are capable of so much more than we give them credit for.

Since that initial ultra, Kevin has learned to be more moderate in his approach to training and races.

His second ultra was another 50k in March of the following year.

The race went much better due to following more of a plan.

New Territory

Following the 50k races, Kevin went on to do multiple 50-mile ultras.

One hundred miles was completely unknown territory for Kevin, but he had a strong urge to push his limits.

Kevin attempted his first 100-mile race in 2017 but had to DNF at around 67 miles.

Leading up to his next 100-mile attempt, Kevin worked more on his mental strength.

He knew to expect the lows during the race and was more prepared on how to handle them.

He became an official 100-mile finisher at Tunnel Hill in 2018.

Recovery after the race was about as he expected, with a lot of soreness and hobbling for a few days afterward.

Early Detection

Kevin has a history of prostate cancer in his family with both his father and grandfather dying of the disease.

In May of 2018, he ran an ultra and suffered from persistent foot pain.

The pain prompted him to see a new Doctor to address the issue.

She encouraged him to have more diagnostics, which ultimately uncovered an unexpected diagnosis.

At the age of 45, Kevin was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

In February of 2019, he had surgery.

His good health prior to the surgery aided him in his recovery.

Running began to take on a new meaning following his battle with cancer.

Relying On Running

Kevin required radiation following his surgery.

It was during this time that he began to rely on running as his therapy.

Fatigue is a common side effect of radiation, but exercise can offset some of the fatigue.

Kevin took that advice to the extreme and ran an average of 4 miles a day during the time he received radiation.

It has been 3 years since his initial diagnosis.

Kevin is grateful to run and views each day as a gift.

He still experiences some side effects from receiving radiation treatments, but that doesn’t stop him from doing what he loves.

More Than A Runner

Prior to his cancer diagnosis, Kevin was more focused on his performance.

After facing health struggles, he now views himself as so much more than just a runner.

Running helps him get through the tough times, which he has had no shortage of.

His wife also dealt with her own cancer diagnosis as well.

Faith has played a large part in how they got through unknown times.

Running has become more healing for Kevin while also reminding him that he is alive.

Kevin Mathewson And His Family


Mentioned In This Episode:

Stay connected with Kevin Mathewson by following him on Instagram and/or Facebook.


Kevin Mathewson changed his mindset from that of a sprinter to one of an ultra runner. That new mindset not only gave him the confidence to run farther but also to face a cancer diagnosis head-on. Click To Tweet


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