Update: Almost exactly an hour after this post was published, Ragen broke a several week long silence with the news she may drop out of IRONMAN Arizona this year. As usual, the excuses are flowing freely along with mysterious new accusations of stalking and harassment. It appears that Ragen will leave us hanging until November 20 to find out whether she actually decides to show up.
In exactly nine 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. As it stands, she has not shown even the slightest indication she has the necessary fitness and athletic ability to complete any part of an IRONMAN, despite apparently training for 3-5 hours every single day since mid-2014. In the last few years, Ragen has dropped out of multiple triathlons and runs, been hit with numerous scandals like being caught faking training selfies, and put in a dismal set of performances in a handful of 5Ks, ultimately culminating in course cutting a novelty fun run.
Since August, Ragen has posted a grand total of two IronFat updates. The first one is a typical harrowing Ragen-style account of “running” on her birthday, complete with an emergency bathroom break and a random stranger encounter in the form of a food-moralizing homeless man. As usual she gives no indication of pace or distance, and based on what little information she does reveal, it may actually amount to as little as 2-3 miles. However, she claims she planned to be out for two hours, which points to a walk-run of around 6 miles based on the only running pace she has ever admitted to publicly. That may be a high estimate given Ragen has struggled to maintain that pace for even 3.1 miles in recent races. We also note Ragen’s mysterious chlorine allergy is apparently not enough of an issue to prevent her from staying in a hotel room with a chlorine pool. She provided a bizarre explanation to a Facebook follower.
The most recent IronFat update posted the same day is another “running” story, this time a late night run through rain with what is becoming a Ragen trademark: another emergency bathroom break. After 2 1/2 years of intense training, she is apparently still unable to manage basic hydration, and chooses to carry a large hydration belt and drink excessive amounts of water to the point of extreme urinary urgency. We also note that heat is apparently Ragen’s “sworn enemy when it comes to training”, and basic race strategies like hydration are beyond her abilities, yet Arizona is her chosen location for endurance events.
It has now been several weeks since the last IronFat updates, which themselves came after almost two months of total silence. In this time Ragen has not mentioned IronFat on her blog or on social media. She spent last week working a real job as a programs manager at the ironically-named Lean Startup Conference as she did in 2015. In the last few months she has written occasional pieces for Ravishly and generally neglected her main blog as well as IronFat. A dedicated Dances with Fat reader recently asked if Ragen even plans to keep writing her blog due to the limited updates, and was met with a vitriolic reply that has since been deleted.
This close to IRONMAN 70.3 Arizona last year, excitement was building. There was a flurry of activity as Ragen juggled speaking engagements, the Fat Activism Conference, and cross-country travel. Fake Selfie Sunday made another appearance, and our pre-race training recap shows just how much effort Ragen had put into maintaining IronFat. She had even been on an international trip to Iceland a month prior and given an absurd magazine interview about her IRONMAN training where she claimed she might one day be murdered for her views on fat acceptance.
A year later and it is clear Ragen has little interest in IronFat; information has been even more lacking, updates even more sporadic. We can only assume Ragen will actually show up on race day given the lengths she went to for her swim DNS last year, but her actions certainly suggest otherwise. At the moment she is in the midst of having a meltdown on social media about the recent U.S. election results, and it would seem the impending IronFlop 2.0 is even less important than usual. Rest assured she has vowed to bravely soldier on with her particular brand of self-serving slacktivism, however.
To celebrate IronFlop 2.0, Dances with Facts will be reposting some of Ragen’s greatest hits over the next week as well as attempting to summarize what little information can be gleaned from the last year of meaningless IronFat updates. We will also be hosting live updates on race day as we did last year, starting early on November 20. IRONMAN Arizona event information will be posted shortly. Onwards to IRONMAN glory, Ragen!