WESTVILLE — Cheryl Lays is beaming once again over her daughter Cynthia (Lays) Campanaro who is on the Spartan Race Canada’s obstacle course racing (OCR) team.
Spartan Race Canada recently named Campanaro and 12 others to its 2017 Team Canada roster for the world championship scheduled for September 30 in Lake Tahoe, Ca. They are among more than 500 athletes from more than 30 countries competing.
“I’m very proud of Cynthia,” Lay said. “She’s such an all-round great human being. She’s so dedicated to everything — her life, her family, her work and OCR.”
Racers must finish in the top five at Spartan races around the world to qualify.
It’s the first time a team from Canada has been assembled to qualify for the world event.
“I feel great,” Campanaro said. “I’m enjoying it. It’s tough but I like the process. The training is hard but it helps you toward your goals.”
Obstacle course racing requires an extraordinary level of fitness and involves courses of various distances and includes running, jumping and climbing disciplines.
Campanaro, now 45, grew up in Westville and now lives in Dundas, Ont. She is a high school physical education department head and offers a weekly fitness program for the school’s staff.
She was inspired by her parents to become a runner, has competed in various distances for 25 years and has been a top OCR competitor for five years.
She has had more than 20 podium finishes as an elite OCR athlete.
She has also compiled an instructional essay on OCR training.
“Team Canada is made up of the best strength and endurance athletes from across the country,” Spartan Race Canada general manager Steve Menzie said. “Spartan Race is one of the most challenging sports in the world — combining strength, endurance, speed, agility and stamina. Each race pushes athletes physically and mentally, testing their abilities in new ways at every event.”
Spartan Race has more than 170 events in more than 25 countries around the world and attracts more than one million participants to open heats at all fitness levels.
Campanaro is also running races, the longest being a 50-mile ultra marathon on May 27.
Cynthia Campanaro negotiates one of the obstacles during a recent OCR event.(Submitted photo)