Spartan NA Champs: A Canadian Dark Horse
As we head into the North American Championship in Glen Jean, WV, the most notable Canadian at the start line will be Ryan Atkins. However, you should have your eyes on another Canadian come Saturday; the humble podium threat, Mikhail Gerylo.
You may remember Gerylo from finishing just seconds behind Team USA (consisting of Alyssa Hawley, Ryan Woods, and Robert Killian, Jr.) in the Spartan Race World Team Championship Sunday in Lake Tahoe last year. He and his Canadian teammates Faye Stenning and Austin Azar led the entire race until Team USA’s come-from-behind victory at the very last obstacle. But this weekend, Gerylo will be out to make a name for himself, and prove that his success isn’t just limited to his home country.
Since his first race in 2014, and in every Canadian Spartan Race since, he has always finished on the podium. During his racing career, Gerylo has amassed nineteen wins in twenty-five Canadian Spartan races (a remarkable 76% winning percentage), only losing to such notables as Jesse Bruce, Ryan Atkins, Austin Azar, and Marc Andre Bedard.
Despite all of his accomplishments to date, Gerylo remains relatively unknown in the world of Spartan. Could flying under the radar prove to be an advantage come race day?
“If anything, being a polite Canadian, it’s going to be hard moving ahead of people at the starting line when no one knows who you are… I will say that most of the US guys don’t know where my strengths lie or where they could potentially make a move on me.”
This championship race will bring the best talent from all of North America to the start line. Gerylo conveyed he is looking forward to a race that bears more weight than others on the calendar. “It brings out the competition and allows you to plan your season accordingly. Our three (Canadian) regional championship races were all versatile and tough courses.”
If a tough and versatile course is what Gerylo is looking forward to, he will get his wish this weekend. “I wasn’t at the West Virginia race last year, but from what I’ve heard it’s a good, balanced course and I’m sure Spartan will have some new challenges for this race.”
We all know that Spartan rolls out new and more challenging obstacles come championship season. Will we see the debut of new obstacles this weekend in West Virginia, or will those be saved for the World Championship for Lake Tahoe? Whatever challenge may come, Gerylo says he is ready for it.
“I’m all for new obstacles and races that will test you as an athlete. This should be a good test to see what you need to work on leading into Lake Tahoe.”
Tune in to Spartan Race LIVE! August 25th at 7:00 AM EST to see how Mikhail Gerylo and the rest of the field performs at the North American Championship Race in Glen Jean, WV!