Interview with Martina Kalinova: motherhood and Spartan
by Sabina Herainová • Jun 22nd, 2023

Motherhood and Spartan, do they go together? Of course! Martina Kalinová also knows about it - a seasoned Spartan for whom Spartan is a way of life.

How did she get to him, when did she have to grit her teeth on the track and how did she manage to return after giving birth?

Where did you run your first Spartan and do you remember what flashed through your head after reaching the finish line? My Spartan's way started in Kutná Hora in 2018, where I conquered Sprint in the last afternoon wave in 30 degrees. At the finish line, NEVER AGAIN flashed through my head... And after about 3 hours after the Spartan in Kutná Hora, my name appeared on the start list on the Supra in Koutů.

How did you hear about Spartan? Was it a YES at first glance, or did you hesitate to participate? I knew about Spartan a long time ago, but a friend told me about his experiences from a similar OCR race. I was terribly tempted, but the fear was greater. In the end, Spartan Workout from Prague put me in the starting corridor, which gave me an indication of what I was going to do. (Thanks, Tom K.!)

Have you had THAT moment where you really had to grit your teeth and get over yourself? How did you do it and what was going through your head? Almost everyone experiences THAT moment at Spartan, in whatever form... I can still see it today. Anyone who has experienced Kouty probably knows what I'm talking about. The Super in the Corners in 2018 was absolutely comparable to the Beast, maybe worse.. Ice wind, ice water, rain, brutal hills.. Just before the finish I ran out of SANDBAG and I ran out of energy. I was cold, exhaustion took its toll, a lot of competitors were being chipped there, and I felt that I was going to hand over the chip as well. A third of the way up a steep hill with a bag full of sand on my back, my feet began to tap and tears started to roll down my face like peas. But as they say, you know a friend in times of need. My friend, having already overcome the obstacle, ran after me and went through it with me already without a bag and with a mouth full of heckling words. "You're almost at the finish line, you can do it, it's in your head, you're a fighter, you never give up", etc.. And I did it.. But I would never have conquered Kouty without support. (Thanks, Luky S.!)

Did Spartan help you overcome an obstacle in your personal life? If so, can you describe how it went? Spartan taught me to overcome willpower as my biggest obstacle, to accept self-discipline as my best friend, to resist life's problems and to give 100% in everything. If I'm doing an activity that I see a lot of meaning in and that I put my skills to work in, I lose track of time and don't stop until I finish it, just like in a race. Spartan strengthened my willpower, endurance and taught me to push the limits. With each little self-improvement, my will grows stronger, and I owe it to Spartan.

Which Spartan distance is your favorite and why? Fast Sprints, medium Supras, long Beasts or even Ultras? As a seasoned trifecta racer, I liked both the medium Super and the long Beast.. The medium track, located in forest and mountain roads, and the long track, compiled from high-altitude climbs and hilly locations, where you will test your dynamics, coordination, grip strength, precision, stamina and endurance .. You give your body a workout and enjoy nature.. I recommend Sprint for beginners, although Winter Sprint is also divine.

In addition to being a Spartan competitor, you are also a mom to two amazing daughters! A few questions about that, because it is very inspiring how you handle everything with a smile and great passion. Although I understand that it is not always rosy, but all the more kudos! Thanks, thanks, thanks.. (pink is my favorite color by the way 😊)

So, how do you juggle motherhood with training and racing? Everything is possible when you have the support of a loving partner, a great family and true friends. I train mainly at home, but also in nature. And someone close to me always goes to the races, who looks after and takes my older daughter to the track.

How were you after giving birth? When did you start getting back into exercise, running and racing? Now I'm probably going to surprise a lot of people.. Since I gave birth by caesarean section and postpartum diastasis started, exercise went by the wayside. It was enough for me to move in contact with the child, breathing gymnastics to tighten the diastasis, followed by long walks and occasional jogging on the belt. The training was not enough, but in spite of that, after 5 months after giving birth, I stood in two starting corridors in one weekend and I do not regret it. Before I got pregnant, I did a lot of sports, so muscle memory and proven magnesium worked.

I watched as your older daughter was already running in your footsteps in the mud. How does he enjoy racing? My older daughter ran races in the 10-12 category for the very first time last year. Nervousness prevailed before the start, but in the end she joined the starting corridor among her peers. Curiosity and lust won, however, she took a bite on the track and proudly ran to the finish line with a smile. No obstacle threw her off and she got such a kick out of it that she has been racing ever since.

What is it like to share these moments with your children? My older daughter thought I was crazy and only started to be proud of me after her first race. And I believe that even my younger daughter, who doesn't understand this yet, will be proud of me. 😊

What are your greatest Spartan achievements? Is it conquering a specific race, overcoming yourself or something else entirely? It's overcoming races and overcoming yourself.. As for the races, it's the aforementioned Super in Kouty in 2018 (to this day I still can't believe I crossed the finish line) and the Honor Super in Hungary in 2020, where I ran solo for the first time.

What are your racing plans for the rest of the year / next seasons? I took part in the race weekend in Lipno, then the Beast awaits me in the new location of Automotodrom Brno, also known as the Masaryk circuit, and thus the conclusion of this year's Trifecta. See you then.. All I know is I miss Winter Spartan. You can't plan much with children, but I'm definitely not done with Spartan.

You must be a huge inspiration to those around you. What would you say to new mothers or women over 30 who are considering their first race and are not yet 100% committed? Do not hesitate, act.. Yes, some people see the Spartan Race as a race for fools to prove something, while others admire their performance. But those who have not gone through obstacle hell will not understand how sweet it is to reach the finish line, you simply have to experience it. You will be stronger and you won't be distracted by anything in your everyday life. I know what I am talking about.

And finally - Can you describe in 2 sentences what Spartan means to you? Spartan races are a project that accompanied me, accompanies me and will accompany me to a happy destination. The Spartan motto "You'll know at the finish line" accompanies me through life, that's why it takes pride of place on my left arm and when I don't feel like singing, I wink at it out of the corner of my eye.

Marti, thanks for your reply and for all of Spartan I wish you well!

Spartan women and motherhood

Sabina Herainová - Spartan Ambassador Czech rep.

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