A Modern-Day Spartan: Ondřej Linhart
Hello! I am Ondřej Linhart and I have just started my career at Metrohm in the role of Service Engineer one month ago and have thoroughly enjoyed my time so far. In my past life, I was a student of chemistry at Charles University in Prague and heard about Metrohm from a friend at university who recommended it to me. In this one month that I have been here in Metrohm, the word has gotten out that I am a keen sportsman, especially Spartan Race runner. And so, why did I choose the Spartan Race?
It is very simple, ever since I was young, I have always looked for new challenges, new adventures and as for a true sportsman, the Spartan Race could test my limits. The Spartan Race is one of the most popular obstacle course races in the world. It was founded by Joe De Sena in the United States of America in 2010 and has been franchised to the whole world, including Canada, South Korea, Australia and several European countries.
The race is divided into several categories according to difficulty, distance, and types of obstacles. The Spartan Race consists of three basic categories called the Spartan Sprint, the Spartan Super and the Spartan Beast. The other categories are endurance events: The Spartan Ultra Beast, The Hurricane Heat, and The Death Race (only in the USA). There are also winter and team events. For the SR, short for Spartan Race, it is very common to organize the race in the mountains. The organizers try to make the race as hard as possible, which is what I like.
The Spartan Sprint is the shortest race and features 20 to 25 obstacles and a distance of at least 5 km. All finishers that cross the finish line receive a finish medal. The Spartan Super Race is a middle-distance race and significantly more difficult than Sprint. Its usual distance is more than 13 km with 25 to 30 obstacles. The last event from the basic categories is the Spartan Beast and it is the most difficult race of all. This race is more than 21 km long and consists of 30 to 35 obstacles. Failure to fully complete any obstacles results in a 30 burpees penalty, the runners have to do it before continuing their race. Racers who complete all three races in one calendar year earn the Spartan Trifecta medal. A racer can finish more than one series of races and receive two or three Trifecta medals per one year. This means that he or she has to participate in 6 or 9 races.
There is also the Spartan World Championships, which are held annually. The endurance race is called the Spartan Ultra Beast. This kind of Spartan Race is quite different from the rest. The distance is more than 42 km and more than 60 obstacles. Some obstacles are, for example, rope climbing, climbing over a seven-foot wall, spear throw, where you have only one attempt to hit the target with the spear, the monkey bar, which is a kind of scaffold through which you have to brachiate without touching the ground, and crawling underneath barbed wire. Everyone that crosses the finish line is a winner in this race.
And so, sports have always been a part of my daily life. I have been playing tennis ever since I was a little child; I used to play on a professional level, but now only as a coach. Today, I spend as much time as possible doing sports. I participated in my first Spartan Race in 2014. It was the Spartan Super and I finished at 281st place. I was glad to have finished without any injuries, and was happy to get some experience. When I finished this race, I immediately knew that this was what I was looking for. The next year I wanted to try all kinds of events and complete for my first Trifecta medal. In 2015, I participated in the European Championship Spartan Race; it was challenge for me to participate. I completed this race at 189th place out of more than 2 500 runners and was extremely satisfied with my accomplishment.
In 2016, I planned three winter events, three basic events, and one endurance event. The motivation was clear, getting two Trifecta medals and being in the first hundred at the finish line in at least one race. The peak of my 2016 season was the Spartan Ultra Beast. It was the most difficult race of all. Racers had a time limit to meet at several check points, otherwise they were disqualified. The race was 52 km long and had about 61 obstacles. I failed eleven times at the obstacles, which meant 330 burpees as a penalty. The whole race took me 10.5 hours to complete. To finish it was an incredibly rewarding feeling.
Right now, I am preparing for my next challenge and it will be the Double Ultra Beast this year. It should be twice long and much more difficult than the previous races. At the same time, I am preparing for several other races, including mountain bike combined with running races. To achieve the best results, I am constantly working with many trainers. And so, keep your fingers crossed for me!