In May 2014, Ragen announced her intention to enter the LA Marathon, followed a few months later by an announcement she was training for an IRONMAN. In the more than three years to date since she started training, tangible results have been few and far between. Despite apparently training for 3-5 hours every day, she has dropped out of 5Ks, a marathon, multiple super sprint triathlons, and even IRONMAN Arizona 2016. She has achieved limited success in short races, finally shaving a few minutes off her 1:09:50 PR last year, followed by an embarrassing disqualification with implications of cheating, and a blistering 55:57 finish at a local fun run in December. Her entire triathlon record in all this time consists of failing to complete the first event at IRONMAN Arizona 70.3 2015 and a 75% no-show rate.
Regular IronFat updates are no longer featured on this blog as Ragen creaks and groans her way towards yet another no-show or DNF in Tempe this November, but we can report after exactly three years of training she has achieved a new marathon PR of 10:03:09 at day 1 of the New England Mainly Marathons series. This bests her previous marathon PR of 12:19:30 at the 2013 Seattle Marathon. This race series is a low-key multi-day event intended for runners who want to complete marathons in multiple states (Ragen only entered one). As with Seattle, Ragen specifically selected a marathon with no time limit, which in this case goes as far as celebrating cabooses like her. Ragen was in fact dead last, finishing almost two hours after the 74 year old man who came in second last. She reportedly had a film crew in tow for the duration of the event, just like at her Ironman 70.3 DNS/DNF.
While some may applaud Ragen for actually entering a race and especially for achieving a new PR, we should not lose sight of the fact she is not a random fat person exercising on the internet. This is someone who claims to be a professional athlete “in the top 5% in the country in strength, stamina, flexibility, and all medical markers of health” with perfect bloodwork and blood pressure. Someone who claims she can leg press 1000 lbs, do hundreds of pushups at a time, complete 25 minute sessions of HIIT at 95% HRmax, and various other athletic feats. Someone who says she has “what is considered to be an elite level of health and fitness“. Someone who claims she was ready to swim 2.4 miles and bike 112 miles, but wasn’t completely certain about finishing the marathon afterwards last November. And yet the culmination of literally thousands of hours of intense training over three years is a slow shamble around a dozen loops of a course for 10 hours.
Ragen’s actual results are irreconcilable with her far-flung claims of athleticism, but she continues to use those claims to support a speaking career based on the notion it is perfectly fine to be grossly obese and there are no negative health effects associated with it.
In 6 months and 2 days, Ragen claims she will be able to translate this result into swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, and completing a full marathon in under 17 hours. Logic and common sense say otherwise.
Update June 7: Bizarrely, some “official” photos of Ragen have appeared on the Mainly Marathons site separately from the regular race photos. Ragen’s camera crew is visible in one of them. We also received a photo from a random race participant who was so bemused by the video production they actually looked up Ragen online. As of June 7, Ragen has yet to admit she even completed the marathon, referring to it as a “training run” on her blog.