Road to Tempe 2016: Ragen the Cheater

Update: Race route and related measurements corrected, video times clarified. Also thanks to Reddit user Bael_Take_The_Wheel for annotated course finish map.

A reader left a comment on our race report from Ragen’s recent 5K about coincidentally entering the same race and passing Ragen on the course, but somehow finishing behind her. There has been a lot of discussion about whether the blog comment was written by a troll, and how much if any of the story was actually true. Dances with Facts contacted the comment author, and we can confirm she provided extremely convincing evidence that she walked the course as described, backed up by photos and video. However, we were not initially able to verify some details of her story, such as the section abbreviated below about Ragen unexpectedly appearing at the finish line.

We were about 50 feet behind her and her friends for the 1st 15 minutes […] We speeded up to a fast walk (they were going at a strolling pace) and left her way behind […] As we continued on through the 5K at a medium-fast walk interspersed with jogging, we did not see her again and I assumed she was way behind us with her friends.

The last quarter mile of the course has some turns and as we rounded the corner and had a view of the finish area we were both VERY surprised to see Ragen Chastain ahead of us by about 5 minutes…. She was just crossing the finish line and taking a picture to celebrate. My husband was like WHAAAT…..and we were both completely puzzled as we had not seen her pass us at any point along the way.

Due to some sharp sleuthing by Reddit user monumenta, a major irregularity in Ragen’s finish time has come to light, confirming Jumbo Shrimp’s account of events. Unfortunately for Ragen, the official race timer provides photos and videos of all finishers on the results page. Earlier times in the video can be seen by dragging the slider completely to the left and then back to the desired time. Note that video times do not match race times because the video starts with the first finisher. At 45:45 (approximately 1:02:00 race gun time), Ragen’s friend Jeanette DePatie, who walked without registering, can be seen crossing the finish line the wrong way and setting up to take a photo. A short time later at 46:19 (chip time 01:01:45, gun time 01:02:32), Ragen herself also crosses the finish line in the wrong direction. Neither of them crossed the finish line in the correct direction at any earlier point, and this is Ragen’s official finish time. After taking a photo, they wander off into the food vendor area.

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 8.28.17 PM.png
Jeanette DePatie crosses the finish line going the wrong way and starts setting up to take a photo of Ragen.
Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 8.28.20 PM.png
Ragen crosses the finish line going the wrong way.

The Fat Boy 5K Long Beach is a loop that starts and ends by the entrance of Shoreline Aquatic Park near the Aquarium of the Pacific. There is no course map available online this year, but running app screenshots posted by participants show it was similar to the previous year. Rather than turning right to loop around the park near the end as directed by race volunteers, Ragen and Jeanette turned left and cut straight to the finish line, shaving approximately 0.7km off the course. Based on the video, they are the only race participants who took this wrong turn. Both Ragen and Jeanette have participated in a number of street races, eliminating the possibility of a beginner’s error here.

Of note, Marilyn Wann can be seen crossing the finish line around the one hour mark in the video, which points to the group intentionally splitting up at the turn. Extrapolating Ragen’s incorrect finish time to the correct distance gives an estimated true finish time of 1:11:48, significantly worse than her last 5K in April.

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 10.09.08 PM.png
Marilyn Wann crosses the finish line in the correct direction.

Did Ragen intentionally cut the course, perhaps to avoid a slow official finish time or because of an injury? We can’t say, but she certainly hasn’t admitted to this mistake anywhere online. She has been “training” for a marathon and IRONMAN for over two years at this point, supposedly for 3-5 hours every single day. In 144 days, she claims she will be able to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run a full marathon in under 17 hours, yet she is unable to achieve a 60 minute 5K even by cheating. This latest turn of events is yet another embarrassing blip on the road to what will almost certainly be a repeat of her dismal performance at IRONMAN 70.3 Arizona last October.


65 thoughts on “Road to Tempe 2016: Ragen the Cheater

  1. I’m thinking this is why Ironfat has not been updated in 9 days…she’s either really embarrassed or know she’s been caught red handed.

    If by chance Ragen does read here, my husband is a DPT (Dr of physical therapy) and he thinks Ragen needs to see an orthopedic doctor immediately. From the video he thinks she has a severe spastic gait (basically overly stiff gait) and “genu vallum” (knock knees). His take is she’s in no position to be doing an Iron distance race this year and not any time in the future until she has serious medical intervention.

    • She likely will not be completing an iron distance race this year. I would expect another DNF after being pulled from the course for swimming too slowly.

  2. The knock knees diagnosis can be confirmed by viewing the picture of Ragen that was posted on the front page of an article in an Icelandic newspaper last summer. In the shot Rahen holds her bike over her head and her knees appear to closer together than her feet.

    As to this course cutting I cannot say I’m surprised. But I am rather delighted by the audacity and stupidity of both Ragen and Jeanette. Too bad their followers will never believe any of it.

    • I saw that picture you’re referring to, it actually looks like her knees bend backwards, that’s how mashed up they are. Seriously, I don’t know how she hasn’t reported any injuries tp her knees and ankles because I daresay they’re under a tremendous amount of pressure by her running and biking.

  3. Guess I have to give props to Wann and the other lady for actually doing the race and doing it fairly. I can’t hate on people who put in actual effort, so good on them.

    • Except Wann didn’t pay a registration fee and later hassled race volunteers, so the only one who was honest was the other lady who was with them.

      I hope she doesn’t get sucked into the crab bucket 😦

    • Any human who does even the most basic forms of cardio exercise should be able to cover more than twice that distance in less time than it took them to waddle this. Personally, I probably could have ran a 10k, went home took a shower, made a snack, and drove back to the race to watch Regan finish.

      • Except when you got home you’d probably find her already there, having a sandwich in your kitchen.

    • Sorry, my bad. Even cheating she is slower than Whitney Way Thore. Maybe Whitney should become a triathelete.

    • Whitney is FULL of fatlogic but I will give her props for actually pushing herself physically (although sometimes she does over-do it for someone her size). Yeah, her 5k sucked balls and she can’t run, but she knows what’s limiting her. If she could only take that determination and apply it to her diet, she can possibly reverse the damage weight has done to her. I keep holding out for her but… I think she’s getting pulled back into the bucket 😦

      • The fact that a ‘fat logic’ person is excercising shows that they _dont actually believe their own crap_ – If youre proud to be a fatass and being a fatass is supposedly healthy and you shouldnt shame it now….. why run marathons instead of sitting on the couch huffing ice cream?

  4. Here’s what I am guessing Ragen will say (it’s bullshit, but her readers will believe it):
    I crossed the finish line with Jeanette and then we both realized we didn’t take a fun snap at the finish line since we were so focused on running across. I wasn’t thinking and re-crossed the finish line, so my chip time reset. Oh well –we were just there for the T-shirt!”

    Contradicted by video and that not being how chips usually work, but convincing enough for people who want to stay in the bubble and make no changes in their life.

      • As a fatass who’s not a raging liar and psychopath, I’m asking, could we cut down on the “fat people are gullible, dishonest and bad”?

      • These are people who want to believe they are fine. They will believe her because to doubt her is to doubt that what they’re doing to themselves is ok.

  5. Regardless of everything that has happened or been posted by this blog till this point I have always supported Ragen… But stolen valor is never acceptable… I hope this is wrong

    • Definitely not calling you out in a negative way, but haven’t you commented quite a bit on DWF and/or Ironfat? If so, welcome!

      • No worries I took and will continue taking the road of supporting Ragen and will continue to. I really hope she isn’t committing the act of stolen valor by course cutting.

    • Stolen valour is pretending to be a hero.

      This one cheated at a walking event. Shes not stealing valour, Shes being the same as close to 100% of activists for ridiculous causes, lying, lying, and more lying.

  6. I checked the results page to look at the video and photos. Where was the still photo camera set up? Ragen doesn’t have a still photo but the finishers directly before and after her do have stills.

    • For exactly the same reason as someone who DNFs a motorsport event.

      She didnt finish the race. Why would you pose a smashed up car that hit a wall on lap 5 of 60 in front of a chequered flag and pretend it got a podium? Someones gonna call it. If youre smart, you quietly do your thing, keep your mouth shut, and brag to your family who are not inclined to check your shit that you finished a race.

      Telling the world youre a winner for something anyone with half a brain can call you out on is just bloody stupid. And yet, these people do it, and their supporters keep supporting them.

  7. I can’t wait to hear what her excuse is. She can’t say she didn’t know she didn’t complete 3.1 miles because her big-ass Garmin is visible in the video. What else would she be tracking on that thing?

    • She’s constantly nentioning how terrible the Garmin is, and how it never works quite right. I think we know why now. It’s simply that the Garmin doesn’t agree with her about how far or fast she went. It’s a shitlord trying to bring her down by reporting only the facts.

      • I think you are 100% correct…I’ve owned nearly every Forerunner since the 201 and I’ve never had the consistent problems she complains about.

      • If it’s that unreliable, I have no idea why she would use it. But oh well, I’ll be waiting for her response 🙂

      • My garmin is telling me i only walked 3 kilometers today.

        Thats bullshit.

        I walked to the fridge and back… *counts on fingers* four… FIVE TIMES today! Thats GOTTA be more than 3 kilometers, i was puffing and panting and used so much energy, the doctors, and garmin, and health experts, and the heart foundation… all liars and false.

      • The story is now that she keeps forgetting to turn it on. Accidentally. I’d think that it would still work if you remembered to turn it on a quarter of a mile in, but I’m not an elite athlete and I just have a Fitbit.

  8. I think the reason she cheated is obvious – instead of age divisions there are divisions by the degree of obesity you have. She may not have managed to place in the “Super-Athena” division, but she made the front page of the results. A few minutes more cut off the course and maybe she would have medaled.

    • Is that like a reverse boxing thing where you are supposed to gain weight to meet a minimum requirement (the difference being that a boxer is healthy, and the weight in this case has a little something to do with muscle tone)

      Do they eat more to get into a bigger class? Do they actively TRY and get into the bigger class for more imaginary fat points? Or are they actually encouraged to be healthy and slim down to a lighter class? Or is that just literally hitler. i mean mysoginy. or whatever telling unhealthy fat women theyre unhealthy and fat is called these days.

  9. OMG… I can’t stop laughing… this is just… omg I can barely breathe I’m laughing so hard.

    And, and the stupidity! To actually cross the finish going the wrong way, on front of everyone… that’s so blatant and arrogant. Amazing.

    The best part? This was a community effort! Thank you to all the members who contributed data to this exposé. I love it!

    • Even in a goddamn xbox game, the ‘Finish a race backwards’ achievement generally requires to you actually do race distance, then turn around and put it in reverse before you finish….. is this some sort of secret mod for life ive missed?

  10. I weirdly enough just stumbled upon this by seeing what the most popular wordpress blogs were at the moment 😛

    I think one part of this is great which is the part combating the false idea that being extremely overweight is a happy life/a healthy one.

    The reality is that being grossly overweight is not a fun life at all and one in which takes people away from family and friends and loved ones way to early.

    The other side though is I think we need to realize the hurt and pain this woman has probably went through that has lead her and others to trying to push a reactionary viewpoint.

    I reviewed her wordpress a bit and I kind of agree that there is health at different sizes which I think we all basically know and also agree that no one should be insulted or have their narrative belittled simply because they are struggling with weight.

    I guess in general I am torn.

    I feel for her and others struggling in that position because a lot of times there has been a lot of pain and alienation internalized on the other hand that kind of pain and alienation shouldn’t be a foundation for promoting an unhealthy ideology and possibly deceiving others.

    • Hey there! We actually covered some of what you’re talking about in a post last year.

      The issues we have with Ragen are more to do with the more radical concepts she spreads from her personal “research”, as well as her long history of lies and exaggerations about her credentials and abilities. This post outlines a lot of it.

    • Hey there! While I think what you are saying applies to many fat activists (although it doesn’t excuse their behaviour!), Ragen is different as she seems to be a pathological liar and con artist. Before she was into fat activism, she was already lying about basically everything she ever did. She just found a new, vulnerable group to prey upon in the fat activism community.

      See also

      • Besides spreading harmful information, lying about her credentials, and using her own blog as a source for argument, she is making money from all this. She is taking advantage. I don’t care that she fakes finishing a marathon, but she is doing it to swindle the people who follow her. The people that give her money are being scammed. I feel this type of fraud, along with the fatlogic makes her a special kind of a hole.

    • The fact theyre excersizing shows they dont believe at all that being overweight is happy or healthy. As in, they realise that the doctors and society that theyre pretending are against them because theyre bastards, are actually not wrong, not bastards.

      If being overweight is ‘healthy’ and you should be ‘happy’ then why are they entering anything that requires effort or excersize.

      As Judge Judy says…. if something doesnt make sense, its chutzpah.

    • I was dumped by a fat activist friend for being too thin for her tastes and “triggering”. Years of friendship gone because she didn’t like MY body. So… The road runs both ways with these people.

  11. If you keep watching the video after Wann and Ragen walk off with Ragen looking like she really has to make an effort to move her legs (no way those legs can support her anymore she looked like a beachball on sticks), another kid in the same blue shirt as the two kids behind the finish line runs over and they all seem to be talking and pointing in the direction W and R wandered off to, and a taller boy goes off into the crowd.

    I wonder if they caught up to her and took the medal back which is why she hasn’t updated and Wann hasn’t uploaded the photo or video she took anywhere.

  12. I am confused as to why these large fat people feel they have to compete in races to prove themselves worthy. I have spoken about some of the healthism in size acceptance. It seems there is some dishonesty in their desire to “prove that they are like everyone else”.

    I can’t walk a mile even perhaps a block on a good day and it used to be a lot less then that. I walked some yesterday, and had a ton of errands to do on a non-housebound day and my stage IV Lipedema kicked my butt and gave me horrible pain–I swell up terrible from exertion and could barely walk by the end of the day with severe pain. Everyday for me is forcing myself to get through in pain. There are women with high stage Lipedema who end up in nursing homes and wheelchair bound through no fault of their own. The whole exercise and lose weight thing gets subverted on it’s head with this severe disorder. This is a trap I would not wish on my worse enemy. Lipo-lymphedema means all exertion makes my body swell up with fluid.

    I believe Whitney Thore has some horrible physical endocrine or other condition, with PCOS can come androgen and other disorders. I don’t know what she eats, but it seems her love for movement and exercise would be taking weight off.

    My concern about Ragen is this whole “fat and healthy” thing at all costs. The whole “Im going to compete in a triatholon” bothers me! She’s trying to prove something that is simply not true.

    I am looking into joining a gym for the medically fragile hopefully finances will not be a barrier and even there I fear more swelling and bad outcomes but I try. I have done physical therapy to even KEEP walking and yesterday some woman came up to me in shock I can even walk, I was walking through an Aldis I didn’t use to be able to walk in, being told, WOW I am glad you are so brave to keep going. LOL Lady you don’t know the half of the story. She was nice so I don’t blame her.

    I wish the fat logic and healthy thin crowd would understand that not all bodies work the same, and many of us have tried to exercise and eat healthy with no where near the same results. The promise of CICO is failing many of us but we just get called liars. Perhaps some of you should ask why are people like Whitney Thore and Ragen holding so much weight on with their desire to exercise all the time?

    and I wish that the fat and “I want to walk 5 miles” and prove I’m just like thin people crowd, would get a clue too. Weight does slow people down. I have taken issue with the likes of Marilyn Wann for years. They can’t claim the fat is NOT holding them back. It’s not reality. There is also the healthism and the underlying message that the only good fatty is the one who can walk in triatholons and who will push themselves until they drop like Whitney Thore. My lungs went before I got fat too.

    • The “promise of CICO” isn’t failing you. You are. Eating less would help your finances, as well as whatever conditions you have. If you can’t affect the calories out then affect the CALORIES IN.

      Frankly I don’t care how hard it is for you to put less food in your mouth, do it.

      • I did, it’s not working.

        You all adhere to that like a religion. Look at those women, one even danced until she collapsed and ended up in the hospital. They are still fat. Why isn’t the exercise burning any of the fat off? Even if they “overeat” and I don’t know what either eat, shouldn’t it be HELPING the CICO equation?

      • Exercise doesn’t burn a lot of calories. 4 miles, roughly, burns 400 Calories. 400 Calories is about a slice of pizza. Caloric restriction is the biggest factor to losing and maintaining weight. It’s incredibly easy to eat well over the average daily Caloric requirement. If we stick at 2000 Calories, eating half a box of a large pizza gives you about 500 Calories left in your day, which, if you consume soda, is about two glasses of soda. That’s it, you have consumed an entire day’s worth of Calories in one meal. If you went out and exercised for 4 miles, you’d shave off, barely, just the soda. A bowl of pasta with cheese? Probably about 800-1000 Calories. The solution is if you want to eat a lot multiple times a day, you can’t consume much calorie dense food. It’s easier said than done, because that means eating a lot of boring food, and for many of us, food is one of the few things in the day we look forward to thanks to our numerous responsibilities.

    • CICO works if you put in the effort and track everything. The two in your examples are either repeatedly shown stuffing their faces all day or caught out not doing as much exercise as they claim. I’m sorry you don’t believe in it (I used it successfully and continue to do so to maintain and keep an eye on my food), but you seem to have a lot of other health issues going on so I don’t want to tell you how to live your life.

      I hope you feel better soon.

  13. ” Perhaps some of you should ask why are people like Whitney Thore and Ragen holding so much weight on with their desire to exercise all the time? ”


    Well, for people like Ragen and Whitney it’s because they are both liars and don’t exercise *nearly* as much as they claim. Whitney was a normal weight until her mom stopped cooking her meals. PCOS doesn’t cause that much weight gain, and it also doesn’t cause her to eat a bucket of ice cream as she did on the show. Ragen is just pathological.

    It’s true that there are many reasons why people gain weight, or find it hard or impossible to lose it. And yes, that is often overlooked by the fit crowd, especially if they young and healthy themselves. It is frustrating, I get that. I have severe upper back problems myself and it limits everything I do in life, including exercise.

    But the reality is that it’s people like Whitney and Ragen and the HAES crowd that are making it difficult for people who do actually have something physically limiting them. They are so loud and so obnoxious that they are warping the whole size acceptance discourse into a fight between fat and fit, with nothing in between and no nuances left. That’s the real shame.

    • Other than those with Prader-Willi or some other mental incompetence there is no reason any person cannot lose weight. Eating less is not some sort of “journey”. It’s something you do because you realize it would be beneficial and then you just do.

      These people are phonies but people who believe that they can’t lose weight aren’t any less delusional.

      • Sure people can lose weight but keeping it off is another matter. I’m more then 200 down from my peak and have been for over 10 years but I’m still fat. Who would choose to be fat? You act like everyone’s body is the SAME.

    • That seems like an extraordinary weight gain just from having someone not cooking for you anymore. When she was a teen, wasn’t she out with friends or buying things in the school cafeteria? Wouldnt she have an eating disorder making her fat if that was her real problem by her teens? PCOS does cause massive weight gains in it’s more severe forms like Hair-An syndrome. She may need androgen blockers, thyroid pills and a full hormonal workup. I have PCOS, [many women with Lipedema can have multiple hormonal disorders including two thyroid disorders in my case]. I hope she isn’t pigging out on camera, I see a show here or there, but none showed eating except once which was some gross banana sandwich. Didn’t she live at home eating the same meals as her thinner parents?

      There’s many people failing to lose weight in USA society, 60 percent of the populace. It’s getting worse too and while I have a “rare fat disorder” which Lipedema is in this stage, something more is going on with everyone. I see people getting fatter and see more people at my super-size, when I was a rare bird in the 1990s.. I think the problem is bigger then everyone failing in personal responsiblity. I don’t like the HAES crowd for their denial but I am sick of people calling fat people liars and devaluing their experiences like look how Marcus clings to his ideology like a religion, you lazy fatties can all lose weight. Between two sides, everyone gets fatter and sicker. You are right about the nuances being lost.

      Telling people eat less is failing. These women are failing to lose weight even with shown displays of extreme exercise. Something more is going on. Even if Whitney and Ragen ate a lot, shouldn’t all the exercise at least be holding some of the degree of weight gain at bay? Do you believe they are making up the activity levels?

      • Yes they are lying about their activity levels . Whitney may feel she is burning a lot of calories that doesnt make it true.

        Ragen is purposely lying as evidenced right here. She did not complete a 5k, she cheated. Intentionally. With the help of another fat person who claims to be active.

        Both are still consuming enough calories to remain fat, regardless of the accuracies of their activitt levels.

  14. Dee why is the response to fat people always that they are lying? You have no proof of what they eat or don’t eat. I see two women who seem overly focused on doing activities usually restricted to the thin and healthy, surely this is bringing more burning of calories then sitting at home on the couch. If one cheated, and I don’t know if she did or not, then it sounds like she knew she was in over her head. So what’s happening? Perhaps CICO isn’t as firm of a foundation as you think.

    • Yes if they are exercising then its burning more calories than sitting around. And if they aren’t losing weight in the face of the extra exercise it is clearly because they are eating the same amount of calories as they are burning.

    • CICO is solid. What isn’t solid is people tracking their food and activity levels with accuracy. Also not knowing their personal caloric needs.

      Many times, people have mentioned possible daily menus to you on your page and you have shot them down, saying it wasn’t enough. That, somehow, your hunger pains were worse and more intense than anyone else’s.

      A nutritionist could point you in the right direction. Weighing and measuring food would be helpful.

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