Coach Cassandra: Head Coach Orange Group (11:30 – 11:59)

FAST FACTS:

  • # of Years Running:  19
  • # Years with Austin Fit: 18
  • # of Half Marathons:  over 20
  • # of Full marathons:  29
  • Favorite Race:  Gazelle Foundation Run for the Water
  • Goals:  Run the Boston marathon, continue higher education, promote autism awareness, and believe in my dreams.

Cassandra is a lifetime Austin Fit coach and member. Cassandra reports that she never imagined running more than a block in her life, but in 2001 a friend of hers had a crazy idea for them to run a marathon (which she realized during the 2nd week of training that meant 26.2 miles) but she still agreed.

Cassandra’s friend told her about this running group that was growing in popularity called Austin Fit. Cassandra paid her fee and dug out her old tennis shoes from High School (she adds “mistake #1 “) and was dressed in 100% cotton (she adds “mistake #2 “) running gear and was ready to train. Cassandra really liked the experience during the six-month training program and running with Mandy Olivares.

Cassandra maintained her running schedule and weekend runs and managed to condition her body and mind to run her first marathon. Cassandra has been addicted ever since. She trained with Austin Fit for three years and became a running coach.

Cassandra was the official pacer for the 2005, 2006, 2007 Austin Marathon and the official pacer for the 2005 Rock ‘N Roll San Diego Marathon. Cassandra was involved with the Take Back the Trail which exposes women of color in East Austin to a free fitness program and provided them the tools they need to improve their health, allowing them to take back their hearts, health and communities. Austin Fit contributed to this wonderful program founded by Teri Givens.  Cassandra currently participates in Parent 2 Parent support group for families of children with disabilities, chronic illness or special health care needs.  Cassandra dedicates each mile to a child with special needs and someone who’s battling cancer.

Cassandra has four wonderful supportive children that will follow in her footsteps by making running and fitness a part of their everyday lives. Cassandra adds, “If you’ve never run a marathon before, please make this your year to do so.”