Dirt in Your Skirt Profile Series – Cassidy Watton
Cassidy Watton, might be known by some as the girlfriend of Hunter McIntyre but in truth she is a strong, tough, competitor who has shown the OCR world that she is not one to be messed with when it comes to the shorter races including the recent “short course” at Spartan Race World Championships where she demolished the competition. Outside of racing this 25- year old has the brains to back her brawn as a graduate of Pepperdine University. She works today as a Personal Trainer and Group Fitness instructor in Malibu, California. Watton is a member of the Atlas Race Pro Team and is sponsored by Rock Tape, Via Prive, and Beet Elite. Learn a little more about Cassidy Watton.
How did you get involved in your sport?
In 2013, while working the desk at the local mom and pop gym, Malibu Fitness, this really cute but annoying spin instructor named Hunter McIntyre would harass me on the regular was always chirping about this new mud run thing he was doing. Months later, he convinced me to drive 9 hours with him to the Arizona Sprint and the rest is history. I have not stopped since.
Were you always an athlete?
I have always been an athlete. Growing up I played every sport and took on every kickball game, foot race and arm wrestling match I was challenged to. Basketball was always my main sport. I ran track and cross country “to stay in shape for basketball” but I secretly enjoyed the torture…err I mean, toughness that was running and endurance. During college, in the midst of being a little lost without organized sports, I found Crossfit. That has been my focus until OCR came into the picture about a year and a half ago Not too much has changed other than trying to step up my endurance game while still getting to lift some heavy weights, which is what I really love.
What are some of your athletic achievements?
If we are counting the “glory days” of high school and prior, my athletic achievements were decorated with MVPs, Athlete of the Year, Most Athletic, Captain of everything, etc. In ORC I have 9 Podium finishes in just over 10 races with 5 first place finishes. I also like to challenge myself at any competition/race that comes up to test my fitness in things I don’t train for. This year I did my first stand up paddle board race and Triathlon and won both in my division. Most recently I had a pretty good showing at my adult league softball game.
What are your goals for the upcoming season?
My goals for the upcoming season are to show up and podium at as many races as I can! In between races I hope to reach all new fitness levels and learn new ways how to share my expertise with others. It is also a big goal of mine to go to CrossFit Regionals in 2015.
Who is/are your inspiration?
My inspiration is my motha! She is a rockstar and my biggest fan.
What is your most proud moment in sport?
My most proud moment in a sport was a touch down I scored in the Thanksgiving Day Powder Puff Game my Senior Year of High School. Go Trojans!
What is your most proud moment in life?
My most proud moment in life is right now! I am doing exactly what I love to do every single day in an amazing place with awesome family and friends to support me. I guess I am proud that I have had the confidence and hard work to get me the life I love.
How do you overcome a bad race or training day?
Bad training days get me down more than bad race days. If I have a bad training day I usually take it as a sign that I need rest. When performance decreases, the body needs to rest. If I am mentally not in the workout, its almost not worth doing. I’ll sometimes wait and come back to the gym when I am feeling it. When I have a bad race day, I am pretty good at saying “Hey, I did what I could, those girls were more ready and I need to get back to work. Wheres the beer tent?”
What is your training routine like?
My training routine usually looks like 3 days on, one day off or whenever I feel I need rest even if that is after one day “on”. Off days usually have some sort of movement, usually teaching spin. The most normal “on” day will look like strength in the morning and endurance in the afternoon. Strength is based off of Crossfit-esq programming. I like to have a solid base of lifting as heavy as possible for 3-5 reps in the squat, bench press, overhead press, dead lift, and bent over row. These lifts, combine with dozens of body weight movements are the key to an overall strong athlete. I have been dubbed “#pullupprincess” because of my tendency to do many, often with weight around my waist. I like to encourage women to always be working on their pull ups. For conditioning/endurance I do a lot of MetCons, long interval, short interval and track work. I’ll get these done using a rower, assault bike, spin bike, running, stair master and swimming.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in your sport?
My advice to someone starting out in OCR would be to be smart in training and don’t get caught up in the overtraining hype. Train smart, get strong, and do the things you enjoy. I don’t like running so I get a lot of my endurance done on the assault bike, rower, etc. I’d say message me and I’ll tell you exactly what you need to and do not need to be doing!
What is your favorite pre-race and post-race food?
Ideally before a race I’d like to eat exactly what I’d eat on a normal morning. Unfortunately when traveling to races its hard to whip up spinach, eggs, Ezekiel bread and cashew butter. I’ll usually settle for some oatmeal, nut butters, and a protein bar of some sort. I will chug water when I wake up and be sipping on tea, coffee or coconut water until race time. Post-race is beer and snacks. Its all about the meal Saturday night,–something good like a steak. I’m a big believer that you can’t take your diet to seriously; you’ve gotta live a little.
When not training and competing what do you do with your down time?
I live in Malibu, CA one of the most beautiful places in the world where the mountains meet the ocean. When I am not training or competing I like to go on walks, hike the hills, get in the ocean and have meals with friends. If I really have some time on my hands I like to camp, snowboard, road trip or go home to Connecticut and hang out with my family.
What is the best advice a coach ever gave you?
My coaches really sucked (sensor if you’d like) growing up. For that reason, I hope to do some coaching and put some young athletes in a good direction.
If you could share some advice to the next generation of athletes, what would it be?
My advice to the next generation of athletes would be two-fold. First- go for it. You can literately do whatever you want if you really want it. Second don’t take your self, your diet, or your training too seriously or you will burn out. Work extremely hard but plan for some indulgent rest, food and fun.
What is/are the races you are most looking forward to this year?
I am looking forward to Atlas Race coming back into the picture and going to their next race in SoCal in February. I also always look forward to some of my favorite Spartan Sprints like Malibu and Pennsylvania and I am obsessed with all stadium races. After doing pretty well at World Championships in Vermont, I look forward to trying my luck at more Beasts.