Featured Runner “Shaylene Caffey” July 2016

101kShaylene “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”

Weight: 158

Shoe Size: 10

Best Physical Feature: Legs

Worst Physical Feature: Toenails

Religion: Running

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.


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.


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!

hawkfinishShaylene 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.


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