In exactly 72 days, Ragen Chastain plans to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run a full marathon in under 17 hours at IRONMAN Arizona in Tempe, AZ. To date, she has yet to complete a triathlon of any length. Her endurance event experience consists of failing to complete the swim at IRONMAN 70.3 Arizona after showing up woefully unprepared last year, and taking advantage of the rules at the 2013 Seattle Marathon to force volunteers to remain on the course until she finished in well over 12 hours “in a blur of pain”. Since starting her claimed daily 3-5 hour training regimen in May 2014, she has managed to drop out of a marathon, drop out of two super sprint triathlons, and cut the course at a novelty fun run 5K. The only athletic achievement she has to show for the 2000-3000+ hours she has apparently spent training for IronFat is lowering her 5K PR from 1:09:50 to 1:05:51, still not quite managing to break into the elite sub-hour 5K walking class.
At the moment Ragen is neglecting both of her blogs and her social media accounts. There have only been five IronFat updates since July 12, or once every 12 days. While we await further Miracle Months updates like the century ride report, here is a summary of the current state of Ragen’s IRONMAN training.
As of August 18, Ragen is “in good shape to make the cut-off” at IMAZ. As usual she fails to give any meaningful times or distances, or say whether she actually swam the entire 2.4 miles within the allotted 2:20 cut-off. She is still avoiding any kind of open water swimming in crowds and appears to be set to make IMAZ only her second open water swim start ever. We know how well that worked out last year when she failed to meet the 1:10 swim cut-off at the 70.3 despite supposedly never having swam the distance in over an hour in her life.
As of August 17, Ragen is “far slower” than the speed she needs to maintain to complete the bike section, or approximately 13.7 mph over the maximum 8:10 cut-off. Of course, we may yet see a miraculous improvement, like when she went from barely being able to do figure eights on a basketball court to a half-century ride in three weeks. Since she failed to meet the swim cut-off and has not entered any events were she actually rode her bike, we have no idea what kind of speed she can actually maintain other than “too slow”.
The only thing Ragen has ever revealed about her running pace is that it is “barely faster than a walk”.
As of April 9, Ragen’s official 5K PR is 1:05:51. The IMAZ run cut-off is 6:30. At Ragen’s 5K pace she would require 9:15 to finish the run. The Running for Fitness race predictor estimates an even longer 10:20 based on her 5K time and age. It is safe to say Ragen has never demonstrated the ability to walk or run anywhere close to the required pace for the run segment of an IRONMAN, especially after having completed a long open water swim and gruelling 112 mile bike ride at a speed she is still unable to maintain. However, in the comments section of her latest update she was happy to casually drop the suggestion that she regularly “runs” distances in excess of 13.1 miles, just like how she was regularly doing long runs “up to 24 miles” last year.
At this point it seems fairly certain we are in for a repeat of last year’s performance, with either a swim DNF or short-lived bike DNF. After 28 months of intense training, Ragen has nothing to show for herself other than a long string of embarrassing race dropouts and failures. She has already confirmed she will be entering IMAZ 2017, so we anticipate yet another repeat next year when she completes a trilogy of IronFlops.