Expect a quick flurry of updates from the three of us…
As you can imagine, I was as shocked as anyone reading Ragen’s blog on Saturday. I couldn’t quite tell if she was trying to specifically say it was me (as a representative of this site) that spoke to her in line and that I’m somehow a creepy stalker, if she was making it all up, or if by some miracle there was redditor who would approach her in the starting chute. I do know it wasn’t me. I have my opinions about the other two options but the facts are these:
— I have been an on/off multisport athlete for about 10 years. I learned the competitive strokes in a college PE course 20 years ago in an earlier effort to try triathlon. I did this race because it was a mere 90 miles from my home.
— I saw Ragen that morning, but true to my previously stated word, I did not approach, speak with, stare at or otherwise engage her in any way. I traded a smile with her girlfriend as I passed, but she seemed to be smiling at everyone around her and seemed like a genuinely nice person.
— Ragen had a two person film crew that appeared to be with her most of the morning. In her blog, she comically seems to be referring to the film crew as “other friends of mine who saw some people taking pictures…who told me later they got their (stalkers) faces on film.” Her “friends” had all the makings of professional crew; a lady which appeared to have a camera attached to a chest harness it was so large and another guy with a full boom mike and equipment attached to a utility type belt. In the starting chute there was an expanding/shrinking 5-15 foot radius around Ragen and her partner as the film crew pushed in and out of people to get shots and sound bites. A person speaking with her in the starting chute would have had to penetrate this radius, recognize they were they were likely being both filmed and recorded, and then after all this mention Ragen’s most hated internet site.
— At about 7:00AM I made my way to the front of the coral and finished putting on my wetsuit. I only saw who I thought was Ragen again about 1 minute prior to the 7:45 start as she was on the stairs. Her own photograph from her blog has me in my orange cap close to the northern starting pylon prior to the start. I did not see her again for the rest of the day.
This has gotten utterly ridiculous and now one of Ragen’s true believers has likened us to the same type of people who would bomb a church in the Civil Rights Era South. Needless to say, no matter how much I dislike Ragen’s message, I intend her no personal harm. Aside from some comments I made on her blog about a year ago (when I naively believed that she wasn’t such a stranger to the truth and criticism—still awaiting moderation BTW), I have never made an opportunity to contact her, sign up for her newsletters, “attend” her conferences or speeches (real or virtual) or otherwise interact with her aside from public criticism that is fair for any public person.
I will continue to pay attention to Ragen, her completely unscientific message, her hilarious lies and her followers’ equally hilarious responses but I am going to move my training content to another blog. The responses from my race blog were truly amazing and I really, really appreciate all the inputs and advice, both pre and post race. I actually have already gotten a “job” at another dedicated triathlon blog whose administrator liked my story. Once the furor dies down a bit over Ragen’s last post, I’ll post a link here and would love for the people so inclined to keep reading, commenting and sharing.