Road to Tempe 2016: The Home Stretch

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.

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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!

22 thoughts on “Road to Tempe 2016: The Home Stretch

  1. Thanks for the update! Whatever happens, November 20th is going to be interesting.

    I must admit Ragen’s facebook posts annoyed the heck out of me – not because of her political opinion which is none of my business. But because of all the hateful words: really, if a family member voted differently from you that means they were ALWAYS a racist and a bigot, and you should loathe them and ‘educate’ them or cut them out of your life? What the hell, Ragen? When is the last time you have contributed to changing society for the better, and not just your own bank account?

    Of course despite her big words I doubt she’ll get rid of her Republican subscribers and donors – money is money, after all.

    • My whole annoyance there is the “Awww, but we can educate them because it’s for their own good, blah blah blah” but try and tell someone that they could benefit from moving more, eating less, losing some weight “for their own good” and Lord help us.

      So it’s cool to beat me down for voting for Trump, but I should just sit there and keep my mouth closed? Talk about being stripped of rights.

  2. I’m all for ridiculing Regan for many things, but you need to stop this nonsense about “basic hydration” and criticizing her for having to pee during a run. I’ve been running for 30 years and have done a thousand long runs and have had to stop and pee on every one of them. I’ve stopped to pee on all but one of my marathons.

    And many (most?) runners buy into the myth of “hydration! hydration!” and over-hydrate and wear fuel belts and the like. Her “emergency bathroom break” is very typical of runners, thin or fat, experienced or new. Marathons have portapotties every few miles, they’re usually occupied, and you see many runners stepping off to pee along the course. Ever watch the Tour de France? The riders all have to take “natural breaks” during the rides.

    There are many things to ridicule Regan for. Peeing is not one of them.

    • This has been a big issue for Ragen for many years. There’s a difference between having to pee during a marathon, and having to take a 30 minute portapotty break at mile 2 as she did in Seattle. Her IronFat posts are littered with examples where she places an excessive focus on hydration even for a beginner “runner” and then has to rush around looking for a public bathroom late at night. I also run and hike and I am no stranger to unplanned bathroom breaks, but it’s quite clear this is just is something Ragen believes an elite athlete should be doing no matter what. A hydration belt is simply another athletic accoutrement she had no idea how to use properly.

      • It’s one thing to take a hydration belt on a long, effort-intensive run. It’s another thing for hydration be a major issue when you’re just going for a walk/hurple for an hour.

  3. Wow, the amount of rage here is amazing. To go off on someone who’s subscribed to Ragen’s silly blog for years like that–our hero seems to be a bit on edge.

  4. So Ragen in defining based on political beliefs? This isn’t surprising to me at all since she basically loves her life in a safespace

  5. Is it possible that she’s ill? Like, legit ill? She’s posting less, less speaking engagements, so forth. Just curiosity here.

    • Well, it wouldn’t surprise me. From the last 5k she ran there was video of her waliking, and she seemed to be struggling. Maybe her health is finally catching up with her. If so, I hope it is a wake-up call for her.

    • She describes herself in one of the above fb screencaps as “currently able-bodied.” I’m not sure why you’d have to add “currently” unless your physical condition is in a noticeable state of (possible irreversible) decline.

      • That’s pretty common in the SJW world right now, saying “currently” since there’s no way to know if a disability won’t hit you down the road, and if you live long enough, old age will make you functionally disabled anyway.

  6. Based on her recent recent comments on the “decisions” post, it really looks like she won’t be coming to the race. She’s already laid the groundwork for the cop-out, and she’s never been the one to push herself to even try. Especially since she already paid the fee, wouldn’t it be worth it to just give it your best, on the chance that she is somehow fast enough, and can get this over with? No. Too much effort.

    • She even says she’ll move on to something she “can actually enjoy”. Why would you (pretend) to invest so much time, energy, money, into something that you don’t enjoy or care about?

      However, she did say she didn’t want to take up room from people who are trying to get PRs. So I mean, at least she’s owning up to that

      • Realistically, she’s be so far behind she wouldn’t be in anyone’s way. It just baffles me that she chose to focus on one of the hardest events ever to prove once and for all that fat people can do anything! But that’s the thing, she can’t – almost completely because of her weight. If she’s the martyr for fat acceptance that she says she is, she only needs to do this event once for all her followers to use her as an example. But this embarrassing struggle is kind of saying more, and I’m surprised they don’t see it.

  7. I’m leaving in the morning for IMAZ. I will be a set of eyes on the ground. I will watch for her. 99.9% sure she will not show.

  8. The thing that pisses me off the most about this is the fact that she’s not even trying. She put forth no genuine effort and, like everything else she’s done, will come up with an asinine excuse as to why it couldn’t be done. Why is she going straight for Ironman – why not try to git gud at a 5K or 10K before going for something she’s highly unlikely to succeed at?

  9. It is strange how people can get into bubbles I have lived in Kansas my whole life and have never heard that Kris Kobach was controversial. I have only heard good things about him like He is a patriot who respects the rule of law and wants fair and free elections. I also am shocked that my state has the most racist law of all time. I had no idea.

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