As expected, Ragen has come up with a litany of excuses in a new IronFat update following her Fat Boy 5K course cutting disqualification. The list is quite extensive. She had blisters from her “long run” earlier that morning. She didn’t look at the course map. She forgot to turn on her GPS watch. The volunteers at the turn didn’t direct her properly. The volunteers handing out medals at the finish line didn’t tell her she was going the wrong way. She didn’t notice the racers with bibs who crossed the finish line directly before and after her. Somehow an “elite” athlete with experience in several 5Ks, a marathon, and an IRONMAN 70.3 didn’t think it was odd she received a medal before actually finishing. And then on and on with the usual handwringing claims about harassment from anonymous internet trolls who apparently contacted every single race official as well as her best friend. Of course, their efforts were for naught, since Ragen, honest to a fault, had supposedly already contacted the timing company to out herself.
It should not come as a surprise to anyone reading this blog that video evidence clearly shows Ragen’s version of events is not accurate. She claims a volunteer handed her a medal as she crossed the finish line, and she didn’t realize anything untoward had occurred until later. In the video itself, Ragen’s friend Jeanette DePatie slinks across the finish line the wrong way and sets up for a photo while Ragen presumably receives her medal off-camera. 10 seconds later, a racer with a bib crosses the finish line in the proper direction, directly in front of where Ragen is standing off-camera. After a further 30 seconds, Ragen crosses the finish line going the wrong way, already proudly wearing her medal. As she poses for her victory photo, yet another racer with a bib walks straight past her and crosses the finish line. Somehow Ragen remains oblivious to every indication she has cut the course.
Whether or not Ragen intentionally cut the course is rather immaterial at this point. She took a medal and didn’t say a word about it until a week later, after it blew up in her face. She has clearly spent time reading through all the posts about her on Reddit and other sites and attempted to address every criticism with weak excuses. She didn’t manage to come up with anything to explain why she and Jeanette were the only racers who took the wrong turn. She also didn’t explain why the other two members of her walking group took the correct route and finished in almost exactly her predicted true finish time, indicating they probably split at the turn. If it was a genuine mistake, then Ragen’s inability to correctly follow a novelty fun run 5K course speaks volumes about her preparation for IRONMAN Arizona in 4 1/2 months.
Ultimately, the most embarrassing part of this entire affair may be Ragen’s admission that walking 4.3km in over an hour was enough to seriously interfere with a week of IRONMAN training. This is the person who has claimed for many years that she normally exercises for an average of 3 1/2 hours every day, and up to 5 hours daily over the last 25 months of marathon and IRONMAN training. The person who claims she has attained “what is considered to be an elite level of health and fitness” and is in the top 5% of the country in strength and stamina. The person who is only months away from an IRONMAN and should be reaching the peak of her athletic form, but instead can barely walk like a normal human for a few kilometres.
In Ragen’s training update we learn that she has trouble swimming in public, that she has broken her bike again by exceeding its weight limit, and that her walk/runs have pleateaued at an unknown pace, presumably around her previous “barely faster than a walk” based on her recent 5K performances. Instead of any meaningful training data we are treated to yet another collection of blurry close-ups of Ragen’s face in the dark or in the same few locations, with the EXIF data redacted to prevent a repeat of Fake Selfie Sunday. In 4 months Ragen has gone from describing failing to finish at IMAZ as a “nightmare scenario” that would shake the foundation of her training regimen, to greatly lowering expectations and setting up yet another attempt in 2017 after she fails to finish in Tempe this November.
In 140 days, Ragen claims she will swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run a full 26.2 mile marathon in under 17 hours. To date, she has yet to demonstrate the most basic competence in the any of the components of triathlon, or even the ability to walk 5km in under an hour. She has yet to complete any of the promised smaller events in preparation for her IRONMAN, unless her farcical attempts at 5Ks this year constitute serious race experience in her mind. It is abundantly clear that her training has not progressed in any meaningful way since her IRONMAN 70.3 DNS. She continues to lie, exaggerate, and obfuscate every single detail in an attempt to prove she is training harder than even professional triathletes. 2017 will presumably bring more of the same, and it remains to be seen how long Ragen will continue the “soon to be IRONMAN” charade.
At this point we have to seriously consider whether Ragen is still going through the motions of “training” for the financial benefits to her “elite fathlete” reputation, or whether she is truly delusional enough to believe she has a chance of completing an IRONMAN at her current weight and fitness level.