Ragen’s Second Big Fat Marathon

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.

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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.

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What it really means to be harassed and stalked…

I hesitated putting this story on this blog because it doesn’t necessarily fit with the subject matter, but there were two very sad and scary comments on Ironfactchecker’s last blog that kind of indicated to me that maybe it needs to be put out there that some of us aren’t strangers to being harassed and stalked “IRL.” I have been through these situations and know how terrifying it can be. Perhaps certain other people have as well, but my experience was such that I would never so casually mention it on a blog for sympathy, that I would never not report it to the police, and that in fact, actions are long colored by threats, before, during and after they take place. Please keep in my that I’m not doing this for sympathy now, rather a statement of fact of how these situations are not simple, they are terrifying and the effects of being truly harassed last a lifetime.

In early 1996, my uncle showed up on my parents’ doorstep claiming he was suicidal because his wife had just left him. Despite this uncle’s long history with mental illness, delusion, malingering, outright scamming and odd behavior (as a frame of reference he sold every MLM product he could get his hands on, fell for every get rich quick/self-improvement scheme there was, claimed he was psychic, had been a Scientologist and scammed people, welfare and unemployment—my experiences with him are probably why I am so fascinated with the subject matter of this blog), my parents took him in.

About this same time my dad finally decided that he had worked long and hard his entire life and was willing to finally make an investment of his lifelong dream of becoming a private pilot. Together, he and I bought a dual seat ultra light airplane, this in addition to his flying lessons on more traditional airplanes. It was a natural fit for me as well, as I was already in ROTC/Civil Air Patrol sponsored flying lessons, and he and I were emerging from a long rocky patch that had put a wall between us since I was about 17. It was truly a great time for us as we would spend long hours flying the plane (we skirted the FAA rules because although the plane was an ultralight, dual seat flying still required a PPL), working on it, talking about it, and bonding over it.

At the house, for the first time in my memory my uncle seemed normal. He was getting through his divorce, he was planning to restart his business, and he would spend long hours cross-country skiing to clear his head. And then one day he burst into the house with manic energy, “There has been an ultralight airplane crash in Arizona!” But as I recall, his tone was not sad, it was not one of concern or warning, but rather just information. Then he started asking odd questions over the dinner table like “How often do ultralights crash as opposed to normal airplanes?” and “Since ultralights aren’t fully regulated by the FAA, who would investigate the crash?” He also was very curious about days I would not be flying with my dad, and in fact I saw him show up at the small airport one day he was not expecting me there. On that day I actually saw him stop at the entrance, watch our activities, and then leave. When I asked him about it later, he said that he forgot he had an appointment and had to leave without saying hello. He was “OK” for a while but, in early March his business again failed and his behavior became as odd as it ever had been. What I remember most is that he began to talk about an MLM “grape seed extract” product he was selling that was supposed to cure everything from Alzheimer’s to athlete’s foot, and he would loudly proclaim that his days of being depressed were over and he had stopped taking his medication. Although I was not privy to the conversations, my parents were again concerned about his actions and made plans with other family members to help move him out.

On March 24th, I was out-of-town with a girlfriend and received a frantic call from my mom that simply said “your dad was just killed in the ultralight.” I drove home as fast as I could, not wanting to believe the news, but when I pulled into my parents’ driveway the massive amount of cars only confirmed what I didn’t want to believe. The house was pure panic, people I hadn’t seen in forever were there—in fact just about every family member I knew was there—all except my uncle. Later I found out he had not spent the night at their house (the first time since he had moved in back in January), he had not been seen the entire morning and later in the afternoon came into the house after most people gone home. I was so exhausted from the events of the day that I have no real memory of his behavior, only that it didn’t sit right with me.

As much as we tried to come together as a family, this uncle did everything he could to divide us. He got drunk and made a huge scene at the wake, actually “firing” one of my parents’ employees while proclaiming “I’m in charge now!” He told my mom flat-out that he was taking my dad’s spot at the business and completely took advantage of her grief and tried to change things they had done for 25 years. In our shock, my brother and I took comfort that someone was doing something but when employees who had worked for the business for 20 years walked out, we shook my mom into reality and forced her to tone down this uncle’s behavior at work. Very fortunately, the employees all came back. Unfortunately my uncle then turned his sights on turning my Mom against my brother, claiming that he had seen evidence of hard drugs in my brothers possession, that a friend of his saw my brother dealing in a bad part of town, and that my brother should be cut from the family.

In the background of all this, the FAA told us they did not have authority to investigate and would have to leave the crash to the NTSB and Tribal police (the crash happened on Indian land north of the city). All the NTSB was willing to do was say that it was “likely wind shear, coupled with pilot inexperience and possible equipment malfunction” but this was only for statistical purposes. So unlike what happens when major airplanes crash, there was no one poring over the crash site, no CID-like analysis on parts, and a very select set of short interviews with other pilots who had been around that day. What always bugged me about the results was that my dad had been flying in a loose formation with about 4-5 other ultralight airplanes, and while the weather was turning bad and they were turning to the airport, none of the others had been affected by the wind shear. My dad had been in tail position so no one actually saw him crash, but after a 25 year involvement in professional and recreational aviation, I still have a trouble accepting wind shear as the likely cause based on the geography of the crash site and the lack of effects on the other airplanes.

When my Mom started to recover ever so slightly from her grief, she took an authoritative stance with my uncle and said he could work at the business but that she was the boss. This actually sent my uncle into a rage, and one evening he physically attacked my mom, throwing a plate at her and choking her with two hands. I happened to be driving up the house with a family friend just as I saw my mom come screaming out of the front door saying “he’s trying to kill me, he just attacked me!” Our friend and I rushed into the house, subdued my uncle as best we could, and got him to his car while my mom called 911. I have never seen such rage and hatred in one person’s eyes. As he was fighting us he kept screaming “you’re going to know the truth white boy, she did this, she brought all this on.” Once it was clear the sheriff was coming, he got into his car and raced off. They put out an APB because he may have had a gun and he was likely under the influence, but to this day I don’t know if they arrested him. A sheriff’s deputy spent the night parked at the entrance to the semi-rural dirt road and he never came back that night. My brother and I and other family friends insisted on an immediate restraining order but my Mom’s other brother and sisters talked her out of it saying they would take care of it, they would get him church counseling and they would make him apologize. A long simmering split with my mom’s family erupted that night as I was utterly flabbergasted at what they were suggesting. My mom agreed with them, but I told them I never wanted an apology and never wanted to see him again, and after I was hit in the face with a steel door stopper he threw on his way out, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to defend myself.

Then the phone calls started…

Hang ups, heavy breathing, laughter at first. All from pay phones made to my apartment, my mom’s house and my brother’s dorm. I hastily moved home with my mom and we again called the sheriff, but since they couldn’t prove it was him they couldn’t do anything. Their advice was to simply wait… someone like him will always mess up because we weren’t giving him the reaction he wanted by hanging up.

And sure enough, the messages started…

“Your boys are going to HATE you when I reveal the truth about you!”

“An ultralight crash in Kansas, so sad, but stupid don’t you think?”

“How are the dogs feeling? You know they still trust me right?”

“How is your fag son doing? You know tract marks never go away. Wonder if it will be the dealers to kill him or someone else?”

“I saw your girlfriend coming out of her apartment; she always liked me you know.”

Finally we had more than enough evidence to get an immediate, but temporary restraining order for my Mom, brother, girlfriend and myself. Because of the threatening nature of the calls, the magistrate fast tracked it to a judge. I don’t remember the exact timeline from temporary restraining order to the hearing, but I do remember hoping he wouldn’t have the balls to show up. But he did, with my mom’s other brother. The judge hit “play” on the phone recorder, listened to just one of the messages, and said she had more than enough evidence to issue a permanent restraining order. My uncle then began howling in the judge’s chambers that my parents’ business had been promised to him, that he had done so much, that the calls were being taken out of the context, and that it was actually my brother and I that had been threatening him “all over town.” The judge told him to be quiet, which he did, and asked us to leave and wait out in the hall so she could talk to both parties individually about the consequences of the restraining order. As he came out of her chambers. he began screaming at us. My “IRL” stalker and harasser had a permanent restraining order for 15 minutes and had already violated it. The bailiff arrested him on the spot, but I have no idea what happened after that because we were never asked to testify against him. That was the last time I saw him.

He was apparently able to calm himself down with regards to us and we didn’t hear anything about him for about a year. In fact I’m not even sure how we found out that my uncle took his own life with a shotgun. We had become almost completely estranged from my mom’s side of the family and I remember feeling no remorse for him being gone then, as I feel no remorse for it now. It was and is a sense of ultimate relief.

A few years later, I had two very chance encounters. I happened to see a cousin from my Mom’s side at a restaurant who sat with me and caught up for a while. He was sad about my uncle, and probably didn’t know all that had happened between us. I was little taken aback when he asked me something like “Don’t you wonder what he confessed in his suicide letter?” I told him I wasn’t sure what he was talking about and he said “Oh yeah, apparently there was note where he full-out confessed all the terrible things he had done but that Jack (the oldest brother) had thought it was so damaging to the family he destroyed it without letting anyone see it.” That piqued my curiosity of course, but not nearly enough to re-initiate contact with my Mom’s family—my Mom had tried to talk to my other uncle after my Grandma died but was accused of just coming around for money—to this day she deals with issues of closure, guilt and a sense of abandonment.

The other time I ran into a very nice member of the airport flying club my dad and I had belonged to. He remembered me well and said he missed all of us; “you, your dad and your brother who used to come help me work on my plane but never flew with us.” I told him I doubted it was my brother because he had been on our university lacrosse team and didn’t really have time for flying, but did he remember his name? When he said my uncle’s name all the coincidences and circumstantial happenings immediately began to stack up in my brain. And it stuck in my head that my uncle killed my dad. He had a method and access, he gambled there wouldn’t be a thorough investigation, he wanted me away, and he had been absent from the house the day prior. He had a motive, his business had failed, and his actions in the mere days after my dad’s death showed that he fully expected to be given control of my parents’ business. To me his harassment after he was kicked out of the house indicates he has some extreme misgivings about how his plan didn’t work, and was really trying to stick the knife in and make it hurt worse in his psychotic way of self comfort. And he possibly confessed, but his brother who had always been his savior chose to keep the horrible truth away from the rest of us. My mom and I spoke with the tribal police who did agree to open an investigation but once they found out my uncle was dead they said there was no real evidence remaining and the only possible suspect was dead anyways. The truth died with him and the destruction of the possible suicide letter, but all these years later the possibilities play in my head daily. I waver back and forth still, but I typically stand at about a 60-40 chance that my uncle murdered my dad.

THAT is what it is like to live “IRL” with a person who stalked and harassed you.

IronFat is an IronFlop, but Ragen wins gold at the oppression Olympics

[Note: For the first time ever, Ragen published something so awful all three Dances with Facts blog authors independently wrote posts responding to it. We’ve decided to publish all three of them separately. Please see the other posts here and here.]

Ragen posted her official race report on IronFat earlier this week. Many people were shocked to discover it was uncharacteristically humble and reasonable, if rather overblown. As one of our readers wrote, “I forgot I was reading about an ironman competition and thought it was a first hand account of a swarm of Nazi U boats sinking a merchant fleet in the dark, frigid waters of the North Atlantic.” We’ll have an official Dances with Facts race report corroborating events from a few sources ready soon (no, Ragen was not towed to shore), but more on that at a later date.

On Saturday, we discovered why Ragen’s initial race report was so reasonable when she posted her real race report on Dances with Fat. It’s a harrowing tale of oppression, haters, and stalkers so intense she even put a trigger warning on it. She is squarely targeting Reddit and this blog and its authors with her delusions of online harassment and real life stalking. This Dances with Facts post is a response to the claims Ragen makes, and readers may wish to familiarize themselves with her post before continuing.

When Online Trolls Become In-Person Stalkers

Ragen begins with the usual preamble about haters, online harassment, doxxing, etc. She claims she has been “harassed every single day for years” by trolls and stalkers. By her latest count she was receiving an incredible 73,000 pieces of hate mail every year in addition to daily credible death threats, and more recently rape threats. Since all Ragen’s thousands and thousands of haters politely contact her exclusively through email and blog comments nobody else can see, we must rely on her impeccable reputation for honesty in reporting them. We also rely on this for any evidence that “haters” contact her speaking engagement venues, which at the moment is limited to a single work of fiction about a “university fact checker” using a gmail address that doesn’t even exist.

Suffice it to say, most of her other “harassment” claims are similarly credible. These include doxxing (Ragen openly posts her address and personal information online while claiming she fears for her life), “maps to her home” (a straw man response when she was caught posting fake training selfies in September), “three letter writing campaigns to the IRONMAN organizers” (a single mention by a GOMI poster that the race director was an acquaintance and was aware of Ragen’s plans), and so on. With that out of the way, we can address her race day claims.

Troll Shenanigans

After Ragen’s disastrous IRONMAN swim, she went for lunch with her friends and family while a “trollapalooza” took place on her Facebook wall in her absence. She assigns the blame to “Reddit” (yes, all 3.7 million Redditors are out to get her), when in fact the vast majority of “trolling” came from a single discussion on 4chan; the moderators of subreddits discussing her IRONMAN actually immediately banned users for so much as liking a comment on her wall, let alone “trolling”. As usual, Ragen doesn’t really care about the accuracy of her statement and simply picks the lowest hanging fruit to get the most sympathy. In recent interviews she even blames Reddit for the 5,000 Little Lies affair she wrote about over a year before the first mention of her name on the site. In Ragen’s mind the truth is whatever suits her needs.

Ragen then engages in her own “favourite pastimes” of misdirection and exaggeration. It’s certainly true there was a lot of doubt about whether she had finished the swim. Her time was listed as “did not start” on the IRONMAN site, and her tricky relationship with the truth has been documented in great detail on this blog in numerous past posts. In the absence of any real information, trolls from 4chan were happy to fan the flames and post speculation in the form of rumours Ragen was towed to shore. The vast majority of “trolling” on her Facebook wall that day was from people politely asking for clarification of Ragen’s swim finish, or engaging with her followers to ask their opinion of past actions while she wasn’t there to carefully curate the discussion.

In preparation for Ragen’s expected response, we documented some excellent examples of the “hate and vitriol” she received before they were deleted. Truly vicious stuff.

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After lunch, Ragen cleaned up her Facebook wall, and then exactly as she says, there was an enormous outpouring of support from fat acceptance advocates and HAES proponents everywhere because of the “horrific abuse” she suffered publicly after her triumphant IRONMAN attempt. She claims this is what she deals with every day and what she has to “protect” her followers from on a daily basis by deleting every comment remotely critical of anything she says or does. She took a week to collect her thoughts, and then published her magnum opus, the culmination of several years of self-victimization and pretending she is a famous activist facing haters and threats to her life on a daily basis, just like her heroes Martin Luther King, Jr. and Harvey Milk. The response has been overwhelming.

The trademark Ragen misdirection then comes into play. Ragen claims the primary criticism of IronFat was that she would “lose all her readers” if she failed to finish. Any reader of this blog will immediately recognize how ridiculous this statement is. For the last year we have criticized Ragen’s lack of meaningful information about her training, her poor attitude towards other athletes, her total unpreparedness for the race (borne out in her dismal result), and her outright lies (see Fake Selfie Sunday). Nobody has ever questioned the unwavering support of her followers. In fact, it was this author’s personal prediction for several months that she would DNF the swim and immediately play up any negative attention for support. We encourage anyone visiting this blog for the first time to read the extensive recap of Ragen’s truly inept training efforts and lies posted here on the eve of her IRONMAN attempt.

https://truthaboutragen.wordpress.com/2015/10/16/road-to-tempe-2015-pre-race-training-mega-recap/

Creepy Scary IRL Trolls

“Things got weird” when Ragen registered for two sprint triathlons and never bothered to show up. Dances with Facts documented this as continuing evidence of her failure to adequately prepare for the IRONMAN. This was again borne out when she decided an IRONMAN event was an appropriate venue to practice her first group swim start, with predicable results when she panicked and doggy paddled around the course to the inevitable DNS. Ragen claims she didn’t mention these races publicly because she feared the organizers would be “harassed” by her trolls. We note again she has yet to provide any credible evidence this has ever happened, and also that every stage of her IronFat training was similarly couched in secrecy and misinformation except when exposed by this blog. The excuse simply represents her usual misdirection and self-victimization, and her actions are entirely in keeping with her long history of skipping out on athletic events.

Instead of addressing why she didn’t train properly and skipped significant training milestones, she calls the discovery of her missed sprint triathlons “creepy stalking behaviour”, and posting about it online “extra creepy”. Apparently “stalking her at this level” (i.e. viewing public race records in a Google search for her name) represented a major escalation that foretold future stalking and harassment in person.

Skipping ahead to race day, Ragen then relates a story from the swim start where a mysterious unidentified Redditor also competing in the event approached her, and they had an extremely awkward and “suspicious” conversation in the style of so many of her fictional encounters with strangers. In this imaginary narrative, Ragen is shocked someone recognized her in the crowd. To put this in perspective, in Ragen’s fantasy world, it’s surprising someone would recognize a super morbidly obese woman wearing an ill-fitting men’s wetsuit, wandering around a crowd of limber triathletes with a 550 pound woman in a bariatric scooter and a full film crew in tow. Ragen further expects us to believe an internet “stalker” with a clearly visible identifying athlete number approached her in front of the film crew, but she can’t remember who it was or provide any evidence the encounter took place. As with her IronFat race report, she conveniently omits any mention of the film crew, which caused a huge disturbance in the swim start area and may even have contributed to her poor showing.

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Ragen blending into the crowd at the swim start.

Dances with Facts gets another nod from Ragen as the “anti-me website” posting minute-by-minute updates of her race. Ragen claims “various forums and websites” posted pictures and video of her taken by what sounds like a horde of haters stalking her at the event. The reality is that no video of Ragen was posted online, and the horde of haters consisted of a single bored local Tempe resident curious enough about Ragen’s dog and pony show to turn up and see if she actually competed. This person posted exactly five photos of Ragen on 4chan and then left without saying a word to her. As my co-author points out, Ragen has no problem filming hundreds of strangers for her own purposes, but the moment someone takes a photo of her in public they become a “stalker”. Nobody bragged about stalking Ragen and her family. As usual Ragen cannot stop herself from wildly exaggerating.

At this point Ragen truly goes off the deep end. She manufactures a list of “paranoia” for her followers to build off. She implies the mysterious Redditor may actually have attempted to impede or harm her during the race, or even sabotage her timing chip. She talks about lying in fear in her hotel room wondering if people were taking photos of her. These allegations are patently ridiculous. Ragen was bumped and jostled during the swim start because that’s exactly what happens during a wave swim start at a triathlon, and she would know that if she had any prior experience before turning up for an IRONMAN. In fact, the reason people ran into her is because her swimming form is so poor her entire wave had to pass her while she foundered in the water. It’s clear the “mysterious Redditor” in her stories is actually meant to be my co-blogger, a veteran and family man with a long history of triathlon competition who made every attempt to avoid any kind of contact with her, who she specifically refers to as a “stalker” later in the post.

Ragen wants to know why the authors of this blog and her other online critics write anonymously. The fact that she is willing to make up defamatory stories and imply she was stalked and assaulted simply to silence her critics should answer that question. My co-author predicted this weeks ago and was sadly proven right. Her readers have now accused us of being “terrorists” and implored her to report the “assault” to the police and take out a restraining order against her “stalkers”, or have us arrested and “massacred” in jail. They have compared us to degenerates who bomb churches, racists who oppose desegregation, bigots who lynch gay people, and even the people who beat Mahatma Gandhi during protests. And Ragen is basking in the attention while planning her next paid speaking engagement at the University of New Hampshire today. We would like to point out that nobody at this blog is making any money criticizing Ragen, while Ragen is banking on her name and reputation to charge a “flat fee honorarium” of thousands of dollars to stand in front of crowds and pretend obesity is healthy.

At the beginning of her post, Ragen assures her readers the events of October 18 have been “reported” and everyone involved is being “monitored”. It remains a mystery how and to whom Ragen reported that nothing happened, no crime took place, and there are no suspects. The Long Beach Police Department must be extremely pleased she is claiming they won’t assist her with credible death threats until someone actually tries to kill her.

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Ragen wraps up with a note about the “campaign of sustained harassment meant to silence her”. The reality is that Ragen entered an IRONMAN to prove that morbid obesity has no impact on her athletic ability. She lied and cheated her way through training all the way to Tempe, and was exposed as a fraud over and over again along the way. She showed up totally unprepared, and the only things she managed to prove are that her weight is the greatest obstacle to any athletic ability she has, and that she is willing to do or say anything for attention. Instead of admitting she screwed up, she turned her failure into a roaring success by playing the victim and shifting the blame to her critics. Ragen’s entire relevance in the fat acceptance community is based on being a victim, not the elite professional athlete she desperately wants to be. And, as Ragen so eloquently puts it, how pathetic is that?

Ragen’s Latest IM Update…

Now she is floating the idea that the reason she didn’t finish the swim is because maybe the Reddit trolls were stalking her.  Kicked her in the face.  Pulled her under water.  So let’s break it down…

Apparently, Ragen has never attempted an open water swim before the day of the IM.  If she had, she would have known that this is par for the course.  In fact, her very own swim coach, Ingrid, has open water swim classes about once a month.  And they practice dealing with those things.  Because that is what happens at the start of an open swim.  But she never did an open water swim before the half IM so she really wouldn’t have known.  Whatever.

She also throws out the idea that maybe the Reddit trolls messed with her timing chip.  We all saw the pics of her clipping on her timing chip to her cankle.  She posted them to facebook.  She also described how she took off the chip and threw it into the ‘pile’ of those that failed before her.  Wasn’t much of a pile.  We know because she posted that picture to Facebook too.  My point is that it was on her ankle from before the swim until after.  But apparently the trolls knew exactly how to hack into the IM tracking system.  And mess with the timing on Ragens chip.  But just hers.  Nobody else is complaining about the IM system being hacked and their timing chips being messed up.  Just Ragen.  Okay.

She goes on to complain about people taking pictures of her.  Again, blames it on Recdit.  If she had half of a clue, she would have known that the pictures were not from Reddit.  And, in fact, when they hit Reddit, they were immediately taken down.  Oh boy…

What she fails to mention is that she had a fucking camera crew following her around all morning.  She can’t have it both ways.  She can’t cry about people taking pictures of her when she had a damn camera on her all morning.  You can argue that she okayed the camera crew.  But then you need to ask…  did the people around her agree to be filmed?  Nope.  Did they sign waivers agreeing to be on film?  Nope.  If you don’t want to take my word for it, ask Ragen for proof.  Ask for copies of the waivers with some info redacted.  Something.  Anything.  It will never happen but hey – I would love for someone to finally prove us wrong.

She didn’t respect their privacy so what gives her the right to demand her privacy?  She is the one blogging about her elite athleticism and publicizing her journey to the IM and even asking people to help fund her journey.  But at the same time she is demanding that people respect her privacy?  While filming people without their permission?  She is a walking contradiction.

My race report (yeah, I fibbed…but honestly didn’t mean to)

IMAZ 70.3 (I will always like Half-Ironman personally) is done. To get it out of the way I did not finish. I was about 15 minutes late for the lap 2 start of the run (they cut it off at 2:40AZ time, but I guess they were letting people through to about 2:45…I got there at about 3:10. I had a “good” race but far from a great race. I learned a ton and am more than ready to tackle training for the 70.3 at the Deuces Wild Triathlon Weekend coming in June. There’s also a local splash open water splash and dash in November which, weekend being free of family obligations, I will try to get in. As well as any other shorter races that are easy to get to between here and June. I think I’ve mentioned several times that I have already signed up to volunteer at the full Tempe IM in November and with that I have a full IM (which is a life long dream) to look forward to in November 2016. The comments on my last blog were so awesome that I am thinking of ways to do a more personal blog for the upcoming year.

So the race…

Swim

I opted to wear my wetsuit today which meant a much later starting time than I had anticipated. Not a huge deal but it did mean that my bike and swim would be pushed into the hotter portion of the afternoon. Swim started good but I was not feeling like I was getting enough air on my freestyle and panicked a bit. I though very seriously about swimming to the canal wall and getting out and calling it a day but I managed to get a hold of my breathing, switched to breast stroke and got myself together. I ended up doing a pretty even mix of breast and free through the swim which is not ideal but again my goal was to finish the race…according to my garmin swim time was 51:45. It’s not bad (I was shooting for 40) but has a lot of room for improvment and you can see how that 11:45 would have helped me later.

Bike

The bike course was much hillier than I expected in the last 6 miles of the loop which kind of threw me off a bit.  Overall, my bike was pretty dismal as I realized that my plan of about 85-95% indoor trainer rides was just not cutting it for this long course. My shifting was way off in and out of hills and at the 36 mile point my shoes were giving me horrendous blisters which had never happened even on the longer training rides on my indoor trainer. I was cramping in my quads, the blisters were growing by the second and I thought very hard about calling it a day on the second lap. But again, I stopped and composed myself and actually rode with my feet on top of my shoes for a while which seemed to relieve some of the blister pain. My quads cooled off and I more or less struggled through the last lap. I think my average pace went from something like 17.5mph to about 12 on the last lap. I finished the bike in a dismally slow 4:19. As you can see this is setting me up to need a heroic performance on the run.

Run

But heroics were not the name of the game today…because of the blisters I could barley move forward. I tried splitting my run into even 5min run/walk  segments for the first 4ish miles but even with this I was averaging about about a thirteen minute mile when my normal running fun run pace is about 9:15. By the third or fourth aid station I just didn’t have anything left and my blistered feet were on absolute fire so I ran one minute, walked four, repeated for a while and eventually just walked. At the last turn around I asked a race volunteer how much time I had left and he said they were closing lap 2 at 2:40 and it was now 2:26 with about two miles to go. I made a decision that come hell or high water, pain or not I would make these last two miles the fastest I could and try to make the cut…I made it about…45 seconds and decided that maybe today just wasn’t to be but I pressed on with a small glimmer of hope that maybe they would extend the cut off time. No such luck and at the chute they guided me to a race course ref who, while being very polite and encouraging, pulled my ankle timer and highly suggested I go pack my stuff up in the transition area. According to Garmin, I did the 6.72  miles of the first lap in 1 hour 56 minutes which means I was going REALLY slow in that last few miles. I actually passed my family and my wife said I was very out of it so I really thought I was going at a 15 min/mile walking pace but apparently not.

So why was this “good?”

First of all, this was my first long course race and I was REALLY nervous going in. Finishing was a good goal but starting at all makes me happy.

Secondly, I got absolutely zero sleep on Saturday night. I am a terrible sleeper to begin with but when I’m stressed it gets REALLY bad. After tossing and turning all night long and realizing it was 4:30 and time to get up, nearly every fiber of my being wanted to say screw it and cuddle up with my wife for a day of room service and Cable TV. I forced myself to get up, get in the water and swim. I am very disappointed with the outcome today, but I am very happy with my choices.

Third, I knew I had not trained enough and my bad brain has been trying to talk me into an excuse for not racing for weeks. I didn’t listen when in a lot of situations, I might have.

How to improve?

Maybe hire a coach. My plan was really me reading internet sites and magnifying what I have done in the past for short course races. I don’t think this works as there is a whole level of discipline and knowledge required for long course that I was just not aware of.

Don’t neglect the bike. My bad bike lead to a bad run which lead to a DNF. Get the right shoes.

More open water practice. I was surprised out how much the feeling of sucking bad air led me to panic. I have been shot at, had rockets lobbed at my deployed base more times than I can count, been in car crashes, and attacked by a rutting moose in Alaska. In all those situations I’ve never been one to panic so I need to get over this feeling because it was a time and brain power killer.

Get ambien. If I can’t sleep, turn to Dr Feelgood.

Lose goddamn weight. I went into this race at 6’0 and 245. That is way to fat and it absolutely held me back on the bike. I know for certain I was generating more power than some of the smaller women who were zooming by me on the bike, but a significant portion of that power output was dedicated to getting and keeping me moving.  I love food, maybe to the point of it being a problem (it is so fortunate that I also love running because I don’t even want to think about how much I would weigh if I didn’t burn 500-1000 calories running very regularly). Whatever it takes, I need to find a way to get this under control.

Now what everyone really wants to hear.

Yes I saw Ragen. I am going to be very honest, that had I not known who she was, she never would have stuck out to me. There are some heavier triathletes of both sexes and Ragen did not stand out from any of these people. But guess what none of these other people did that Ragen did to make her stand out? Have a fucking camera crew cause a goddamn menace in the swim corral. There was a camera crew following her and Julianne (who incidentally, seemed like a very sweet person and was constantly smiling at the strangers around her) around most of the morning and they were bumping into people and asking athletes to move so they could get better shots of Ragen looking pensive and deep in thought before the day of her big race. I thought maybe they were there for the larger race but they stayed right with Ragen the entire time I saw her. True to my word, I avoided her and separated myself as best I could but even with that, the sound guy bumped into me twice. I have not caught up on the drama but have heard from some people that Ragen missed her swim time, I can only wonder if it was because the camera crew forced her to be at the back of the start…and that if she focused on the race instead of making a statement or spectacle that she would have completed the swim.

I have also heard that Ragen is accusing her “stalkers of showing up in person.” Ragen..since we know your drones report back to you, if you DARE call me a stalker, know that I moved away from you and your circus as best I could. Call me a stalker? Lets compare race results and training RESULTS. Lets compare the number of people we knew and/or met at that race…you know, being social. To add further, my phone was in the transition area after it closed at 6:30 and have no pics of you, nor would I have taken any. Ragan’s film crew however, pointed the camera directly at me and other people several times. If any shot of me ends up in her ego stroking bullshit, she can count on the fact that I will hire a lawyer and start with a cease and desist and then take it as far as it needs to. I signed an agreement with WTC to be in any of thier promo shots, but I never, ever, ever gave her or her film crew permission to feature me in anything she or they produce. And to the drones reporting back to her, this was a live, first hand account of Ragen’s behavior, is it really so hard to see that this whole fiasco has nothing to do with promoting the rights of fat people and has everything to do with Ragen’s ego. There were fat people all over that course today, myself included…yet the camera was on the one who didn’t finish the swim.

Monday edit: The comments on this thread have been awesome (for the most part, a couple of you seem to think that I am Ragen…I guess thats what this site gets for being the number one google hit). But really and truly thank you very much for all the tips and advice…especially with the sleep stuff. It’s something I’ve just gotten used to but at this point I need to start trying something, not just for racing and training, but being sleep deprived sucks in general.

IRONMAN 70.3 Arizona Schedule and Information

After 1-1/2 years of drama, the day has finally come. Today (Sunday, October 18) Ragen Chastain competes in IRONMAN 70.3 Arizona! Here is everything you need to know for race day. This post will be updated throughout the race tomorrow morning.

Weather

Forecasts are showing a high of around 90°F/32.2°C with mostly clear weather and the chance of brief thunderstorms during the day. We expect water temperatures in the mid to high 70s for the swim segment. Since Ragen will presumably not be going for any age group awards, she can wear her men’s 3XL wetsuit up to a maximum water temperature of 83.8°F/28.8°C.

Tempe Town Lake Water Temperature

Accuweather forecast for Tempe, AZ

Race Information

The race consists of three segments: a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike ride, and a 13.1 mile run. Each competitor has 1:10 chip time to complete the swim segment. The bike cut-off is 5:30 after the final swim wave leaves, and the final cut-off is 8:30 chip time for each athlete. Transitions are included in the cut-offs for the next segment. Any athlete who fails to meet a segment cut-off will receive a DNF. There are also intermediate cut-offs in the bike and run portions, and the race staff reserve the right to remove any athlete from the course they deem incapable of completing a segment based on their location, time, and average speed.

Ragen’s bib number is 1045, and live athlete tracking with 13 bike splits and 8 run splits is available on the IRONMAN site. Please note that IRONMAN live tracking is known to be buggy, often not updating or giving weird results. Ragen is in wave 9 of the swim start (F 35-39), which leaves at 7:10 am. There is a timing mat at the swim entrance so we’ll know if she actually starts the race. Six waves of swimmers follow her wave and will have to pass her. Race results will be available on the official results page, and race photos will be posted on FinisherPix.

Schedule

All times are in MST. Ragen’s cut-offs are approximate since it will be based on chip time, but it should be within a few minutes.

6:30 am – Race starts

7:45 am – Ragen’s swim wave leaves

8:55 am – Ragen’s swim cut-off

8:50 am – Final swim cut-off for all waves

11:20 am – Intermediate bike cut-off

1:15 pm – Bike cut-off

2:40 pm – Intermediate run cut-off

4:15 pm – Ragen’s race cut-off

4:15 pm – Race ends


UPDATES

0610 MST

I’ve just been informed that due to high water temperatures, all athletes who elect to wear their wetsuits will start together at 0745.

0640 MST

Ragen has her timing chip and athlete number painted.

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0712 MST

Athletes from the first swim wave are coming in. The first finisher took 30:14!

0726 MST

Someone is at the helm of Ragen’s Facebook account deleting replies asking about the 11:45 start.

0745 MST

Ragen’s swim wave should be entering the water right now!

0758 MST

Ragen was apparently spotted starting the swim at 0745.

0820 MST

Ragen’s original swim wave cut-off, and the half-way point for her revised 0855 cut-off. The tracker has been a bit buggy, so we can probably expect a delay at 0855.

0835 MST

Tracker for the original swim wave still hasn’t updated, so expect a 15-20 minute delay after the revised 0855 cut-off.

0855 MST

Ragen’s swim cut-off. Now we await the tracker update.

0858 MST

The tracking data has finally updated for Ragen’s original swim wave, only 38 minutes late. 68/105 made it through.

0900 MST

Someone at the event confirms she made it out of the water.

0924 MST

Ragen is apparently standing around crying with a camera crew now.

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0935 MST

Ragen is rolling out with Julianne. DNF. 14451860149591003 MST

Another photo of Ragen and Julianne being interviewed pre-race.

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1029 MST

Update from Ragen!

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1225 MST

We’re investigating the rumours of a boat rescue, but I’m fairly certain they’re based a troll comment about Ragen only finishing “1/3 of the race”. Ragen’s friend has posted photos of her finishing the swim. It’s certainly possible she was towed to shore, but I suspect she did actually get to the finish under her own power.

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Road to Tempe 2015: Surprise Last Minute IronFat Update!

Ragen just snuck in one last IronFat update before the big day tomorrow. She humbly admits she “may not” finish the race, and excuses and red herrings abound. Apparently she doesn’t just have to worry about harassment, doxxing, assassins, and rapists, because there were three separate “letter-writing campaigns” against her. Of course the race officials saw through her haters’ ludicrous claims and recognized what an elite athlete she is, so no worries about that. Onwards to race day!

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