[Welcome Pathetic Triathletes! We’d like to invite you to check out the posts Is Ragen Wrong about Everything? and The Truth about Ragen Chastain to get an idea of why this blog exists and why we feel it is important to call her out.]
In exactly 103 days, Ragen Chastain claims she will swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run a full marathon in under 17 hours at IRONMAN Arizona in Tempe, AZ. To date, her only endurance event experience consists of gaming the rules at the 2013 Seattle Marathon to force the volunteer to allow her to finish in over 12 hours, and failing to complete the swim segment at IRONMAN 70.3 Arizona last October. This year she has worked hard on her 5K personal record and managed to get it down to an elite 1:05:51. This was followed up by her recent IronFlop 4.3K disqualification when she was unable to finish a novelty fun run 5K course properly and ruined a week of IRONMAN training by walking for an hour.
Ragen is currently “sick” or else training hard depending on whether you check IronFat or Dances with Fat. It is coming up on a month since her last training update, reminiscent of last summer when she only posted a single IronFat update between July 8 and August 28, and most of her Dances with Fat posts were deleted reposts. If she follows last year’s pattern, she will soon be making enormous progress after a year of dismal failures, right in time for another swim DNF in November. We anticipate a century ride report at some point before November 20, but any other speculation would be fairly meaningless.
While Ragen continues to train for “3-5 hours” every day, we would like to focus on something completely different. Fit Fatties is a forum Ragen created where “thousands” of fit but fat women apparently post about all their amazing athletic endeavours on a regular basis. The most notable output of Fit Fatties is the infamous Fit Fatties Across America video where Ragen and her pal Jeanette DePatie and 1,500 forum members completed a 2,800 mile “virtual journey” across America that amounted to a grand total of 125 feet per day for each participant. Signing up for a Fit Fatties forum account quickly reveals the forum is a ghost town, but it has evolved into an extremely active Facebook group. It is clear from Ragen’s participation that she does not care about the participants in any way beyond being able to brag about creating Fit Fatties and use it for self-promotion. Her only participation in the Facebook group for the last few months has been occasional posts asking people to send her money for the upcoming Fat Activism Conference.
In the Fit Fatties Facebook group, HAES is king and weight loss talk is banned. There are no male members in sight, and the vast majority of posters are obese middle-age women doing basic activities like walking, hiking, or biking short distances, which is certainly reasonable enough. Ragen’s elite athleticism is sometimes a source of awe and inspiration for many members who look up to her for being such an apparently accomplished athlete.
However, there are occasionally some genuinely impressive “fit fatties” who post in the Facebook group, like the four women we will be featuring in our post today from the last few weeks. While Ragen was spending the last two years writing about how much she hates training and doing as much as possible to portray triathlon as a depressing and miserable sport nobody in their right mind would ever participate in, these women were training hard to do what they love. While Ragen was spending over a year whining about being unable to find triathlon gear and renting inappropriate men’s wetsuits for photo shoots, these women were solving their gear problems quickly and getting on with their training. While Ragen was skipping out on events and taking her utter failure of a 70.3 as a sign she should register for a full IRONMAN, these women were doing races appropriate for their abilities and body sizes. All of these women have achieved athletic goals far more impressive than anything Ragen has ever done in her life, and none of them will ever be featured on Dances with Fat or IronFat because Ragen simply does not care about other fat athletes who make her look bad.
Despite our obviously negative opinion of Ragen and her antics and moneymaking schemes, Fit Fatties may actually be her most positive creation, simply by virtue of Ragen herself having no part in its content and being unable to monetize it.
Update: Some concerns have been expressed about the use of anonymized Fit Fatties content in this post. We feel it is a reasonable fair use of the content, and specifically avoided obscuring faces because of past issues and because it plays into the “headless fatty” trope many fat activists decry. There is very little meaningful identifying information in any of these posts, and some of the concerns seem rather overblown. Nevertheless, faces have now been obscured to further anonymize the photos, which we feel detracts from their accomplishment to some extent.