Ryan Kent started the US National Series strong with a second place finish in San Jose, CA and took first place in a wet, cold, and muddy course in Seattle. Since then, he found himself off the podium in each of the succeeding three races in the series.
Kent is poised to make a roaring statement again at the North American Championships this year. In 2017, Kent had a breakout race in West Virginia, taking second behind Robert Killian, Jr. This year he wants more. “Last year, had I not allowed Robert [Killian, Jr.] to get back into the race at the Yokohama Tire Flip, I feel confident I would have taken the win. It didn’t happen, and I came away with second place. Hopefully I can get out there this year and put myself in position again to do something special.”
Kent attended college in Virginia, so he is familiar with the terrain and conditions racers will see in Glen Jean, WV. With more money on the line this year at the North American Championship, Kent will be looking to capitalize with this familiarity. When asked about this home-turf advantage, Kent distinguishes the West Virginia race as entirely different from the other races in the series. “I absolutely love the West Virginia course. It’s close to home and right up the road from where I went to college. [For those reasons] it definitely carries a different feel to it than other races.”
Kent acknowledged that his performance during the last leg of the US National Series was sub-par. “Probably one of my worst performances if I’m being honest. The altitude and dry conditions played a factor in that, but it was more of a mental struggle than anything else.” When asked how he plans to get back to early-season form, Kent responded, “[I’m going to] just keep doing what I’m doing. Making sure I’m at the start line with a rejuvenated mindset is the only thing stopping me from getting back to Seattle-like performances”.
Kent knows what he’s capable of on the course, but getting his fitness level to translate into results on the course has been his own personal obstacle at times.
“My physical fitness is there and if any of the top guys were to come and train with me for a week or two, they would see that as well. But getting it to transfer to the course on a consistent basis is easier said than done.”
Kent’s entire family and girlfriend will attend that weekend in West Virginia to cheer him on. “That always brings the best out of me knowing that they’re there watching.”
Tune in to Spartan Race LIVE! August 25th at 7:00 AM EST to watch the action unfold!