If you’ve been following the IronFat training saga, you may have assumed that no matter what happens, Ragen will always be at the back of the pack and not pose any kind of danger to others on the course. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, for multiple reasons.
First, with special thanks to blog commenter ShortCourse, the Arizona 70.3 swim segment is a deep water start and finish in the canal that runs through Tempe. This means the race volunteers have to assist the athletes at the end of the swim by pulling them from the water. You can see this in the video below at the 27 second mark. If Ragen finishes the swim, the race volunteers will have to pull a tired 320 lb woman out of the water without any mechanical assistance. IM volunteers are simply not trained to assist morbidly obese people like this.
Assuming Ragen makes it to the bike segment, she won’t be at the back of the pack not getting in anyone’s way. The Arizona 70.3 bike course is a triple loop with tight technical corners that only one rider can navigate at a time, and uneven surfaces like cobblestones. This means Ragen is going to be a large slow-moving mobile chicane. All 1500+ athletes on the course will have to pass a woman who’s unable to stop or steer properly at least once, if not twice, while desperately hoping it’s not at a tight corner or anywhere she needs to throw herself off the bike while dropping it on the ground to stop.
Then there’s the fact that Ragen has no experience with the etiquette of dealing with other riders on the course, what to do when things to wrong without support, or even the most basic tasks like how to remove your water bottle and take a drink while riding without losing it. These are things you learn through experience by riding hundreds of miles alone and with others, and by entering shorter events. If Ragen actually shows up, she’s being incredibly inconsiderate to the other athletes who worked their asses off to train properly and paid a lot of money to be there. All it takes is one accident with an inexperienced newbie who has no business being on the course to end someone’s race or cause a serious injury.
Ragen is a danger to the race volunteers and to every other athlete on the course.
4 months, 6 days until Tempe.