As previously reported on Dances with Facts, in a surprise Facebook post late last week, Ragen announced she is entering the 2016 Oakland Running Festival Bank of the West 5K on March 20. It remains to be seen whether she will show up for the race, given her long history of skipping out on athletic events dating back to at least 2002, but we can confirm she has paid the registration fee and is registered for the race. Of course, that is fairly meaningless given she paid over $250 to not compete in two local super sprint triathlons last year. We feel somewhat more confident she will show up for this 5K, given it is a fairly easy distance even for an “elite” professional athlete such as herself.
The Bank of the West 5K takes place on Sunday, March 20, and the race itself kicks off at 0730 Pacific Time. The course is a mildly hilly jaunt through downtown Oakland that should take no more than an hour to walk at a moderate pace. Current forecasts predict a cloudy day with a high of around 18°C and afternoon rain. The race web site has live tracking of athletes, but only a finish time is provided for the 5K. Last time Ragen entered a 5K, she was extremely unpleasant to a race volunteer when she discovered that race shirts were not available in sizes up to 5XL for her super obese dance troupe. This time, race shirts and other race apparel are only available up to 2XL, and we expect this bit of “fat shaming” to feature prominently in her race report.
Ragen’s current 5K PR is 1:09:50, at the 2013 Hollywood Half 5K. In order to prove she can technically finish the marathon portion at IRONMAN Arizona in the maximum allotted time, she should be aiming for at least a 50 minute finish, based on race time predictions. A modest 30 minute finish would demonstrate a more realistic fitness level for completing an IRONMAN, but is most likely far beyond her grasp unless she loses a significant amount of weight. This race also raises questions about why Ragen is doing her first serious 5K only 8 months before an IRONMAN, especially at an event so far from home that actually has 10K, half marathon, and full marathon options.
In our pre-race recap for IRONMAN 70.3 Arizona last year, we went over some of Ragen’s running training background. Highlights included the usual excuses about being “unable” to run while claiming to be an elite professional athlete in the top 5% of the country in fitness, fat shaming stories like the time she almost punched a priest, generally being absolutely awful to everyone else in the running community, and various tidbits about her ridiculous training routine. The situation has changed very little since last October, and we know almost nothing about Ragen’s actual running performance, aside from the fact she has claimed her “runs” average out to about 3 mph. In recent weeks, Ragen actually backed off on even using the term “run”, instead referring to her training as walking. None of this bodes well for her performance in Oakland on March 20, or 8 months later in Tempe on November 20.
Ragen has been “training” continuously for either a marathon or an IRONMAN since May 10, 2014. She works with three professional coaches and is supposedly able to devote 3-5 hours to her training almost every single day. This 5K will be our first real insight into how much her performance has improved. The race day will almost certainly not provide as much drama as her Oppression Olympics dog and pony show in Tempe last year, but the results are sure to be interesting. Stay tuned for further updates!