Shaylene “Shay” Caffey (in her own words): So, Hi! I’m Shay. Shaylene Caffey, sometimes Hobbit. I’m 31 and more built like a softball player than an ultrarunner. I used to be very overweight. To the tune of 233 pounds. I started eating right and getting leaner and needed to exercise. So at the urging of my husband, I started a couch to 5k. Which turned into a Couch to 50k. I’ve always been an athlete, but never a runner. I even hated it in the Army, yet here I was, headlong in love with running ultras. I love the end, the enduring. I’ve always been very driven and goal oriented, so ultrarunning seems to fill that space for me. I also do math when I’m running. Constantly calculating, weighing, deciding on things. I love to laugh and cuss and usually people hear me long before they see me. Happy Trails!
Date of Birth: 04/14/1985
Place of Birth: Montgomery, AL
Currently Residing: Kansas City, MO
Marital Status: Married
Job(s): Software Implementation and GIS Analyst, Oil & Gas Industry
Children: 3- ages 10, 6 and 4
Height: 5’ 3 ½”
Shoe Size: 10
Best Physical Feature: Legs
Worst Physical Feature: Toenails
Political Affiliation: Little as possible.
Educational Background: Army training, Bachelor’s and Masters in GIS (Geographic Information Systems- science of mapping).
Personal Strength(s): Mental toughness and tenacity.
Personal Weakness(es): Recognizing my limits before I blow past them.
Make Of Car You Drive: Mazda
Make Of Car You Would Like To Drive: Anything stick shift, fast and tight in the corners.
Pets: 2 cats – Cassidy and Riddle, 2 dogs- Moses and AvaDog
Favorite Author: Neil Gaiman
Favorite Book: Random Trio- Intensity- Dean Koontz, Handmaid’s Tale- Margaret Atwood, The Mayor of Casterbridge- Thomas Hardy.
Favorite Non-running Magazine: Evidence Technology Magazine or Men’s Fitness.
Favorite Movie: Rocky Horror Picture Show
Favorite TV Show: House of Cards
Favorite Actor/Actress: Jennifer Lawrence
Favorite Music: Folk/Rock/Pop
Favorite Musical Performer: The Devil Makes Three
Favorite Artist: Shakey Graves
Favorite Spectator Sport: Roller Derby
Favorite Subject in School: Science/Social Studies
Favorite Game: Cards Against Humanity
Favorite Vacation Destination: Vegas
Favorite Time Of Day: The witching hour
Favorite Item Of Clothing: Adidas Supernova Fit Shorts (they don’t make them anymore).
Favorite Non-Running Leisure Activity: What’s leisure? Eating maybe?
Favorite Running Shoe: Vibram Five Fingers Bikila LS
Favorite Food/Drink Before An Ultra: Salmon, salad and sweet potato the night before, eggs and banana the morning of.
Favorite Food/Drink During An Ultra: Organic Food Bars, Huma gels, boiled potatoes, ginger ale.
Favorite Food/Drink After An Ultra: Liquid calories and then French fries.
Favorite Crew/Pacer Person(s): Hubs and The Van Clan.
Favorite Place To Run: WYCO
Favorite Type Of Running Surface: Dirt
Favorite Famous Quote: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” – Albert Einstein
Number of Years Running Ultras: 3
Number of Ultras Finished: 12
Best Ultra Performance(s): Rock Away Night & Day Trail Run- 50 miler and ½ Marathon- 2015
Most Memorable Ultra: Heartland 50- April 2014
Typical Training Week(s) Before A Major Race: Peak week with some race pace stuff, then taper.
Injuries: Broken toe (WinterRock 2015), hysterectomy and abdominalplasty (2015).
Ultrarunning Idol: The last person to finish in a race.
Why Do You Run Ultras: Because only then am I free.
Advice For Other Ultrarunners: It’s supposed to be hard. Puke and keep moving. Eat. Drink. Lube. Cry. Laugh. Suck it up.
ACHIEVEMENTS / GOALS / MEMORIES
Personal Hero: My Mom- all day, everyday.
Personal Philosophy: You are only limited by your willingness to work hard and suffer. I just don’t give myself the choice but to do.
Short-Term Goal: Run strong this year and get another WS100 qualifier.
Long-Term Goal: Become fluent in Spanish.
Most Prized Possession: Stuhrling automatic skeleton watch.
Most Proud Achievement: Losing 90 pounds.
Happiest Memory: The first moment I saw each of my children’s faces.
Secret Ambition/Fantasy: Well if I tell you it’s not a secret! How about being sponsored by Vibram Five Fingers!
Greatest Adventure: Life.
DISLIKES / FEARS
Least Liked Subject: Psychology
Least Liked Household Chore: Is “all” an answer?
Pet Peeve(s): Slurping coffee and loud chewing.
Greatest Fear: Not being able to protect my children and those who need protecting.
Book Currently Reading: The Fountainhead
Hobbies: Sewing, eating, running, volunteering.
Collections: Harley Dealership poker chips, race bibs, rocks.
What’s next: Lunch!
Shaylene with “tears of joy” after finishing her first 100 Miler and being congratulated
by RD, Coleen Voeks, at the finish line of the Hawk 100 in September of 2014.