Road to Tempe 2015: Fake Selfie Sunday 2.0 and Ragen’s Unbelievable Bike Training Progress

It’s now 41 days until Ragen says she will swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles, and run 13.1 miles in under 8-1/2 hours at the Arizona IRONMAN 70.3 in Tempe, AZ.Note: Please see the update at the end of the post. -IFC

Yesterday Ragen posted a new IronFat Selfie Sunday update with photos supposedly showing her hard at work training for Tempe. Unlike last week’s botched effort where metadata proved Ragen had faked many of the photos, she was careful to only post one photo per day and give them vague descriptions this week. Unfortunately she still couldn’t resist describing a photo taken at 10:21 PM as an “early morning run” (apparently Ragen considers it more impressive if she wakes up before dawn to “run”).

The biggest news this week is Ragen’s claim that she finished a 50 mile bike ride on Sunday morning. A full half-century.

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 7.36.52 PM

This builds on last week’s 42 mile effort, which was the logical progression of her training, three weeks after… riding two blocks in traffic and doing some figure eights in a basketball court. Ragen has written an entire year of IronFat updates at this point. She’s gone from low effort spin bike workouts, to her first bike ride for 20 years on May 31, to barely being able to stop her bike without falling off in June, to learning to shift and brake up and down small hills on August 4. It has been a slow and tedious progression of minor improvements most people make when they first learn to ride a bike at a young age.

At the end of August, Ragen admitted she may not finish the 70.3 in October. She started posting a litany of excuses to explain her impending failure. Days later, Ragen’s bike training took an astronomical leap with the 42 mile ride, followed by the half-century only a week later. She includes no proof beyond a photo showing her holding up five fingers and barely breaking a sweat, nor does she address the issue of the fake selfies from last week, instead choosing to rant about another mysterious “hate group” that is supposedly sending her more threats and sharing maps to her home. In photos she is clearly wearing the Garmin GPS watch we know she owns, and she has shared the location of her training rides on multiple occasions, which are nowhere near her home. For some reason Ragen, the person who toots her own horn for the most inane personal victories imaginable, won’t even share a redacted Garmin Connect screenshot of one the most significant athletic achievements of her life.

This supposed improvement in Ragen’s bike training is beyond all reasonable belief. It goes hand-in-hand with her recent “two hour” swims and “24 mile” long runs. At this point it appears to be part of her excuses for October. When her girlfriend has “car trouble” driving to Tempe and she can’t compete, or she has an unfortunate “injury” at the last minute, or she simply bombs out in the first stage, she can now point to her IronFat blog as “proof” she trained hard and was ready for the 70.3.

To make it clear how implausible Ragen’s bike training performance improvements over the last few weeks truly are, we’ve assembled a timeline of every single IronFat bike training update. It includes some details not shared in the posts themselves. We believe the facts speak for themselves and demonstrate yet another facet of Ragen’s continuing pattern of profound intellectual and personal dishonesty.

September 20, 2014

Ragen starts her IRONMAN training and says she hasn’t ridden a bike since high school.

November 24 and 26, 2014

Ragen’s coach tells her to “shoot for above 75RPMs, 80 would be awesome, 85 would be outstanding” for her first workout. Ragen the elite biker manages 85 rpm for 45 minutes on a spin bike at an unknown resistance setting. Two days later she completes a similar workout.

January 6, 2015

Ragen claims she was gifted a bike that belonged to a friend’s deceased husband at some point, but it was stolen from her home and the police refuse to give it back to her.

January 27, 2015

Ragen apparently recovers her bike from the police and decides to name it “Clyde”.


March 4, 2015

More than a month after getting her bike out of “bike jail”, a bike shop has modified it as much as humanly possible. Ragen completes her first and only ride on “Clyde”, managing two hours connected to a bike trainer, again at an unknown resistance. Because her midsection is so large, she’s unable to pedal the bike in any position without kneeing herself in the gut on every stroke. She never rides Clyde again.

March 10, 2015

Image metadata shows Ragen’s secondhand road bike arrived today. She doesn’t mention it on her blog until May.


May 16 and 17, 2015

After several months with no bike training updates, Ragen announces she has acquired the road bike that actually arrived in March. She didn’t mention it before because she was physically incapable of riding it in the original configuration. It took her three months and three separate bike shops to find one that would mangle it to her specifications and turn it into a bizarre and dangerous combination of a road bike and hybrid bike. On May 16, she goes for her first ride in the parking lot of the bike shop and promptly falls off and injures herself because she’s unable to brake.

May 27, 2015

Ragen still hasn’t properly ridden her new road bike, but she’s begging for donations because it was so expensive.

May 31, 2015

More than three months after ordering her road bike, Ragen goes for her first real ride in over 20 years, managing 4 miles at a very slow pace. She refuses to ride the bike in traffic. She falls off her bike attempting to stop it.

June 1, 2015

Ragen is learning to stop her road bike. She falls off the bike 70% of the time she attempts to brake. Due to her central obesity and the modifications to extend the handlebar stem beyond the safe limit, she is unable to straddle the main tube during stops, and must instead perform a complicated maneuver where he throws herself over the bike and lays it on the ground. She describes the maneuver in her post.

I can’t touch the ground with my feet while in the saddle, and I don’t fit comfortably between the seat and the stem so I can’t just hop off and straddle the top tube. So there’s a specific technique that’s involved wherein I have to slow to a near stop, throw my leg out far enough that I don’t trip myself when I lay the bike to the side whilst pushing it backward.

Ragen’s idea of a successful training session at this point is managing to stop her bike three times in a row without falling off.

August 4, 2015

After a long IronFat hiatus, Ragen goes for a short trail ride with some friends. She walks her bike up and down a small hill because she’s still unable to shift and brake properly. Her friends teach her to use her brakes to ride down a hill without wiping out. She rides in circles in a basketball court and finally manages to do a few figure eights. The highlight of the day is riding two blocks in traffic.

August 20 and 28, 2015

Ragen accidentally includes an admission she might not finish the 70.3 in the footer of her August 20 IronFat update. She quickly deletes it when it appears on Reddit. A week later she writes that she has “chosen a big goal” and concedes she may not complete the 70.3. New excuses immediately start piling up, as documented in 50 Days, Ragen’s New Excuses.

August 31, 2015

Ragen starts “Selfie Sunday” with a bang, posting a number of fake training photos. Three weeks after doing figure eights in the basketball court, she has suddenly completed a 42 mile training ride.

September 6, 2015

Selfie Sunday 2.0. Ragen claims she has completed a 50 mile training ride. She provides no evidence other than a photo showing her holding up five fingers, despite the fact she is clearly wearing a GPS watch. In the span of a few weeks, Ragen has supposedly gone from 11 months of barely being able to ride her bike to doing half-century training rides.


43 thoughts on “Road to Tempe 2015: Fake Selfie Sunday 2.0 and Ragen’s Unbelievable Bike Training Progress

  1. This is simply unbelievable. Chastain is banking on her followers being so completely unaware of/inexperienced with biking or any other kind of fitness. Anyone with any biking experience knows that biking fifty contiguous miles is difficult, and achieving it for the first time is a very big deal. It’s not something that happens a few weeks after learning how to shift gears, even if you are remarkably aerobically fit. Chastain insults people in the FA movement, athletes, and FA athletes with plainly transparent lies and fraud.

    • I think that Ragen’s as full of shit as the next person, but 50 miles really isn’t a big deal. Certainly don’t have to be ‘remarkably aerobically fit’. A century is pretty impressive, but even that should be possible for anyone halfway determined – and I’ve taken a lot of non-cyclist friends on long, long rides before. It’s the great thing about cycling – as long as your pace isn’t being pushed and you’ve got plenty of snacks, it’s more a matter of how long you can be bothered to keep going for.

      There’s no way she did it though – or would be able to do it at Ironman pace.

  2. Yeeeahhhh…. probably not. I’m doing my own training for a 70.3 and there is no way she got through being saddle sore that quickly. My longest ride has been 30mi (6 months to go) and I’m average weight. 140lbs and 5’6. It took weeks just to adjust to riding that long without my ass feeling like it was being stabbed with a knife. And my bike is properly fitted. There is no way the gunt-beast progressed so quickly being as oversized as she is. Unless….I guess the “extra padding” helps?

  3. About that “inane accomplishments” bit… I’m pretty sure she’s lying about being part of No on 9. The only “9” in Oregon I can find that relates to LGBT rights was in 1992; GLSEN wasn’t a national organization until two years later. Plus, wouldn’t Ragen be 14 or 15 at the time (I think she’s 38 now)?

    • She’s talking about Oregon Measure 9 (2000). She did some canvassing along with a bunch of other volunteers to help ensure it failed. She was also involved in Safe Space at UT Austin. Her old queer rights work might be the only time she ever sincerely believed in something important that wasn’t just a moneymaking scheme to excuse her personal failings.,_Measure_9_(2000)

      Ragen doesn’t actually want to be a fat rights activist. It was her dream to retire at 35 and become a queer rights activist. She’s compared herself to Harvey Milk on multiple occasions. There is no way she would ever be well-known or (more importantly) make a living in the queer rights world, so she had to settle for fat activism. She still tries to pretend she is a queer rights activist with her “intersectionality” stuff.

  4. I want to look away but I can’t. I. for one, will be happy when this inevitable crash and burn is over and I can go back to a life sans Ragen Chastain.

  5. I’m a 34 year old female, BMI just under 25, with a few months of regular exercise- running and swimming a couple of times a week to lose weight. I’ve completed a few half marathons in the past but my current speed is only about 11 min/mile as I build up slowly to avoid shin splints again and because I’m a terminal case of being rubbish at all that require either strength or endurance.

    Last weekend, a more experienced and fit friend and I hired mountain bikes and rode the 25 miles around a lake on a hilly but mostly traffic free road. I’d completely misread the map and thought it was about 11 (thank goodness I’d packed lots of water and a protein bar…) I haven’t been on a bike in 2 years. My pb distance was 8 miles. It took me 4 hours to get all the way around. While I was able to enjoy [most of] it and finished with a very sweaty smile on my face, there’s no way I could have gone any further. My legs were completely spent. And my behind hurt. A lot. Thus, from recent personal experience, I raise a doubtful eyebrow at the 48 and 50 mile posts…Is she just adding sequential rides together to get that total?

    If it wasn’t for the misleading solicitation of funds and grossly negligent misrepresentation of current medical understanding on obesity, I’d be following her with excitement. Instead, I find myself waiting for the (metaphorical) wheels to come off.

    • There is NO WAY that she can be training as hard as she says she is, without seeing changes to her body.
      I think she insults every single person who is out there trying to improve their lives and their health or just trying to push themselves to do something difficult.

      • That’s what I’m saying. Even if she was intentionally over-eating to make up for the lost calories her body shape would change while her weight stayed somewhat constant.

  6. Clearly the only plausible explanation of the 42 and 50 mile rides is that these were the days on which her cumulative total miles since she began training surpassed those numbers.

  7. If Ragen actually biked 50 miles in this 90 degree California heat she would be too sweaty and slippery to even hold her phone up to take the pic. Even a short walk in the AM around here leaves you drenched! Another tale tell sign that Ragen is not working as much as she says she is, she’s never sun burned or even more tan than she used to be. Exercising outside in this heat causes even water/sweat proof sunblock to sweat off, leaving some sort of sunglass tanline or burn. A lot of bikers in SoCal have some sort of brim of even face mask on while biking to protect themselves from the sun and Ragen has the most basic of helmets.

    • Such a great point. I cycle in the same weather, with SPF50 sweatproof slathered on my face before and during rides, but some tanning and mild weatherbeating are unavoidable.

      Ragan ran marathon at 2.1 mph—that’s almost 30 minute miles. Assuming her cycling follows a similar level of conditioning, she would be on the bike for 6–9 hours, to complete 50 miles.

      Her face would have road dirt and look beat the fuck up at the end of that, not to mention any tanning.

      I am so disgusted by the deliberate lying to her supporters. The FA folks don’t need liars as activists.

  8. I’ve mentioned that elsewhere, the total lack of a tan despite hours and hours out in the summer sun biking and running for miles. Please, it’s bad enough she expects people to believe she can magically do all this and not drop a pound but now she is immune to the goddamn SUN?

    She is over on her Facebook carrying on about this site, spreading lies and making it seem like this blog is trying to kill her. Her fans are “terrified”. They are all so delusional it’s exhausting.

  9. Wait, wait. If she decided that a “certain person” was unsettled and she felt bad laughing at them and so stopped reading this blog…

    Why are there nearly instant reactions to most posts, responses in the form of accusations of “haters” and why does she know precisely what this blog is claiming? (Fake selfies, unlikely bike increases) etc

    If she’d stopped reading… She wouldn’t need to feel threatened or upset over “haters” because she’d have zero idea this even still existed.

    • Stalking? I only see a timeline created with information that is easily obtainable on Ragen’s blog as simple as a right click. Ragen acts like she has so much to prove – except for the truth. Calling her out on the bullshit she publishes herself isn’t stalking.

    • Responding to publicly available information put on the internet for the purposes of bilking people out of money is not stalking.

  10. One of her drones on FB asked her if she’d heard of this site. The usual “someone’s stalking you, it’s so weird!” stuff. Regan replied that she used to read here but she doesn’t any more because she’s so convinced that you’re mentally disturbed that she’d feel bad for laughing at you. She seriously tried to make herself sound like Mother Theresa over pretending she doesn’t read every word on this site.

    Is there any way to get her to engage in public debate? She refuses to address the lies you’ve caught her out in on her blog or her FB. She refuses to allow comments that question her claims through moderation on her blog. Anyone who calls her out on her FB page gets deleted. Is there another way to publicly ask her these questions so people can actually hear her answers (real answers, not “People hate me cos I’m fat so they tell lies”)?

    She gets speaking engagements, but nobody seems to have questioned her claims during Q & A portions. People who ask her to do interviews don’t seem to do any fact checking on her. Her followers blindly believe everything she says because she’s telling them what they want to hear so they’ll love her regardless (plus, given how many of them seem to believe their bodies deny the laws of physics, I doubt they hold much weight with the whole truth). I feel like she really needs to have someone who has done some fact-checking ask her to her face, publicly, why she has lied about her ‘achievements’ and why she has lied about her own abilities/injuries/eating disorders.

    Is there any way this can happen or will she just claim she’s getting targeted by haters and shut it down if she catches wind of it?

    • Welcome to Fat Activism. “It’s not my job to educate you, shitlords,” is how they debate. Also, if you challenge their beliefs or cherry-picked statistics, you are simply a troll and/or hater.

      • This is a statement that it true about a whole lot of the internet, not just fat activism. The internet is great at allowing people to only hear what they want to and join groups that really just serve as their own echo chamber. That’s true her and also true of pretty much anyone who continuously insists that something they personally believe is true cause INTERNETS SAID SO! I’m not really gonna fault her or the FA movement for that behavior when it’s a problem so many people exhibit. Which still doesn’t mean she’s not full of crap.

      • @Anonymous/Zin above: just because a lot of people do it doesn’t mean it’s okay. They should be faulted for blindly believing internet posts, shouldn’t they? I believe it was either Lincoln or Churchill who famously stated, “Just because someone wrote it online doesn’t mean it’s true.” 😉 This is, unfortunately, a nation of remedially-educated, easily led, overweight people…fault them.

  11. So I’m bored and lost in an internet black hole and come upon this. I’ve spent a decent amount of time clicking around as I have nothing else going on today. I, for one, am not down with the “Big is Beautiful” movement and the whole Body Acceptance thing. I mean, accept yourself, sure, but also accept the medical consequences of being a larger person….anyway, on to what I wanted to say…
    I joined the Army at 20 years old and served for 9 years. I gave birth to 2 kids while in the Army. I deployed three times. I wasn’t ever “thin” but I was in shape. I carried my own gear, completed the 12 mile ruck march with a 75 lb pack, passed numerous PT tests….all that. So for 9 years, 5 days a week (sometimes twice a day) I got up and I ran for PT. Sometimes 2 miles, sometimes 5, sometimes a 10K, and once (and only once) I did the Army 10 miler (while deployed to Kuwait, in October, in 110 degree temps) which I walked a lot of.
    So when I come across the post labeled “Three Great Runs”, I can’t help but lose my sh!t. I was a 5’2″, 125 lb United States Army SOLDIER (with 6 years in by time I did the 10 miler) and running was part of my JOB. I got PAID TO RUN. And it was still hell. It was still something that you had to work up to. There is NO WAY that this lady, whoever she is, is going on 24 mile runs. It is just NOT happening. At her weight, she’d be burning thru a pair of shoes a week. Her joints and cartilage would be fracturing and disintegrating under the weight of her own body. This is beyond lying. If she needs to lie to make herself feel better, whatever, that’s sad. But this is insulting to those of us who have been there, done that, struggled through. And she’s all nonchalant about it?
    No. Those of you who have ran for ridiculous distances know…you know the types of things you think, or say, or would write, after one of those runs. About your toenails turning purple and falling off. The chaffing of your thighs until they bleed. The sun burn from being out in the sun for the time it takes to run 24 miles…This….this is just insulating.
    And I’m done. Sorry for the long post….back to your day.

    • Amen! (& thanks for your service TrueChick)
      I made the mistake of training for my last half almost exclusively on the TM (time constraints & weather) & found out less than 3 mi into it that there’s a WORLD of difference…
      My R 2nd metatarsal flared up in pain – but since I figured I’d have foot pain either way, I went ahead, slowed way down, & limped my way through it. No permanent harm done, although my podiatrist advised me to find an exercise regimen that didn’t pound my flat feet into the pavement.
      (So now I cycle & use the elliptical)

      • I learned quickly that TM is to learn your pace, the road is to learn your run. On a TM, you set it to a certain pace (like what my goal pace was for a PT test) and I’d run that to teach my body what that felt like and to learn what it felt like. Because I could visually see when I started slowing down, I could process all that information.

        Toggled that with track and street work and after about a month, got my 2 mile time from over 19 minutes to a 16:37. Best time I ever had. TM is a useful tool I think. Sorry to hear about the toe. My left pinky just randomly goes numb now. They said I’ll have that for life. I have DDD so I’m not supposed to run anymore either, but I found amazing shoes that let me do it now and then.

  12. She’s obviously not going to finish, but I hope she doesn’t start either. The thinnest, fittest person in the world wouldn’t considering doing a 70.3 without practicing at a sprint first. It’s dismissive and disrespectful of the sport and of your fellow competitors to an extreme degree. That’s just mean, and that’s a statement I can make with zero consideration to size or fitness level.

  13. If she really plans on going through with this, she can do one of two things:

    1) Show up having seriously (and secretly) trained for the last year and lost significant weight (100+ lbs), and give a good accounting of herself or maybe even finish.

    2) Show up at her current weight and fitness level and fail miserably at the first discipline and get DQ’d.

    Those two things are mutually exclusive. There is a 0.0% chance that she can complete even one third of this event without major weight loss and a devotion to training that is not yet inevidence.

    • You can’t even train for something like this (the right way, anyway) without losing a decent amount of weight. Not saying she’s going to turn into Jamie Eason overnight, but the more you have to lose, the faster you lose it. So if she was even doing a fraction of the work there would be a noticeable loss. And, you’d most likely be able to see it in the facial area, first. That’s just how women lose weight.

      I’m all about numbers when it comes to weight loss and working out. They rule my life. So, lets just say she weighs 300 lbs, 5’5″ 35 year old female (no idea if any of this is correct). That means BMR of approx 2057. Forget the whole TDEE and thermal effect of food. Now lets add in the 50 mile bike ride. I’m using a 10-12 mph pace for 5 hours. Thats 4082 calories. So just between her body staying alive and the bike ride that day, she burned 6139 calories. Or, 1.75 pounds.

      So if she’s actually doing all the things she’s saying she’s doing; walking, running (3600 for 24 miles!!), biking, swimming….she would HAVE to lose weight unless she was intentionally overeating. Because in the end, as much as she may wanna deny it, its calories in<calories out=weight loss……

      • You’re completely right about this. I teach yoga and have seen people with a lot of extra weight who commit to showing up and working at their practice regularly (3 to 4 X a week) who, even though they are often losing pounds quite slowly, see their body shape change.
        Now I know Reagan has special diet and exercise immune fat, but if she was honestly doing the work she says she is doing her body would be changing. Her shoulders would likely become squarer from swimming, and the swimming and running would improve her posture.
        She bothers me so much, I feel like her every blog post is an insult to my students and just everyone who works hard at this stuff…

  14. Why would she do a 24 mile training run anyway? A beginner would only want to have a longest run of around 11-12 miles for a half-marathon distance. A full marathon requires maybe a 20 mile run tops to avoid injury before the race itself. Given her weight and her lack of natural ability in running (self-admitted), a 24 mile run would be incredibly foolish and, one would hope, completely against the advice of her running coach. It would also take her 16 hours plus given her previously stated run times. Nope. Didn’t happen.

    • She uses deliberately vague wording in the Anatomy of a Long Run post to give the impression she ran up to 24 miles, but it’s possible she’s referring to her previous marathon training (which she walked, according to plan). That’s my take on it, FWIW.

    • That’s what I was thinking. The only running time I saw was listed as “barely over a walk” so I’m thinking in the area of 2.5-3.0 mph (and I think even that is being generous). So, 24 miles at a 3 mph pace is 8 hours. Drop that to a 2.5 mph pace and that’s almost 10 hours. And all this is assuming you keep up said pace the entire time. No stopping to tie your shoe, drink some water, die….you know, whatever a 300 lb person does on a 24 mile “run”.

      I also saw somewhere that she runs at night to ward off the haters or whatever (and wasn’t that the justification for why she isn’t tan?). So, its 10pm and you’re going for a 24 mile, 8-10 hour run?? The math makes no sense. I needed a full day and a half to recover from a 10 mile run that I was properly trained for and had gotten a full night’s sleep the night prior. To be up and about all day, then run 24 miles (3-4 hours for me at an 8-10 min mile) through the night…I would need 2-3 days to recover from that. And again, I am in shape. I run often…for fun. No sane person does this. Not at that distance.

      I had nights in Afghanistan where I couldn’t sleep so I went and did 5-6 miles on a treadmill at 2am for about an hour, but that was it. This chick just needs to give it up. At this point, I don’t hate her because she’s fat, I hate her because she’s a liar and she’s giving out horrible medical advice to those who need it most!

      • TrueChick, please share what shoes you found that enable you to run w/minimal foot pain…
        Even though I’m miserably slow, I’d still like to slog along now & then.
        TIA from your flat-footed friend 😉

      • Hoka One One. They are expensive, and look crazy as hell, but worth it. When I’m having a bad back day, I put them on, and poof, pain is gone. Even if I’m not gonna be running. I even got an all white pair for when I start clinical hours (nursing school). I would suggest having a pair fitted at a running store, but not like a foot locker. Like, a REAL running store if there is one near you. The sizing runs a little weird.

    • Oops. Can’t count at the moment (genuine brain fog due to meds). She did complete her full marathon in 12 hours so with training maybe she’s down to 8-10 as others below suggest. So my 16 hours is a load of twaddle. Sorry.

  15. You know, if she had actually trained, even just a 5 km bike everyday and a few miles jogged, I would at least have some respect for the effort. But she’s not even trying. And the BS photos? Pffft, sounds like she just loves the attention. She wont even make it to the start line.

    Also, what’s with the trouble she has with braking? I can’t touch the ground when I’m in the saddle either. But I just lean and put one foot down. All that money she’s wasted on altering the bike and she couldn’t even get one that fit her properly to start with?

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