David Goggins

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David Goggins
Goggins in May 2008
Born 1975
Buffalo, New York, United States[1]
Allegiance  United States of America

 United States Air Force

 United States Navy
Rank Chief Petty Officer Chief Petty Officer[2]

US Navy SEALs insignia.png United States Navy SEALs

Spouse(s) Aleeza Goggins[8]
Relations Trunnis Goggins (father), owner of the Skateland roller rink in Buffalo, New York[9][10]
Other work Special Operations Warrior Foundation
Featured in the book Living with a SEAL by Jesse Itzler (2015)

David Goggins (born 1975) is a Navy SEAL and former USAF Tactical Air Control Party member who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and is an ultramarathon runner, ultra-distance cyclist, and triathlete.

Military career[edit]

In 2004, Goggins graduated from Army Ranger School with the distinction of enlisted "Top Honor Man." [11]

Goggins is the only member in the U.S. Armed Forces to complete SEALS training, U.S. Army Ranger School and Air Force tactical air controller training.[12]

Goggins also served as the bodyguard for Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.[13]


After several of his friends died in Afghanistan in a helicopter crash in 2005 during Operation Red Wings,[14] Goggins began long-distance running with the aim of raising money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which gives college scholarships and grants to the children of fallen special operations soldiers.[15]

To date it is estimated that Goggins has raised over $2 million for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.[16]

Marathon and Ultramarathon Running[edit]

Goggins wanted to enter the Badwater-135 Ultramarathon as a fund raiser, but was told by organizers that he needed to enter another ultramarathon first; as the Badwater is an invitational event. In 2005, Goggins entered the San Diego One Day, a 24-hour ultramarathon held at Hospitality Point in San Diego. He was able to run 100 miles in under 19 hours despite never having run a marathon before. He was subsequently granted entry into the 2006 Badwater-135. At the 2006 Badwater-135, he finished 5th overall, an unheard of result from an ultramarathon novice at a world-class event.[17]

Since this beginning, Goggins has competed in numerous long distance endurance events (while still on active-duty with the US Navy), most notably ultra-marathons.

He has participated in notable events such as the Las Vegas Marathon and the Badwater-135 Ultramarathon, where he placed highly. He also has participated in the Furnace Creek-508 (2009), a ultra-distance invitational Cycling Race.

Only three months after completing his first Badwater Ultramarathon in 2006, he competed in the Ultraman World Championships Triathlon in Hawaii. He placed second in the three-day, 320-mile race, cycling 261 miles in two days on a rented bicycle. Before training for that race, he’d never ridden a bike competitively.

In 2007, Goggins achieved his best finish at the Badwater-135 by placing 3rd overall in an impressive international field.[18]

He returned to the Badwater-135 in 2013, finishing 18th, after a break from the event since 2008.

Over the next two years, he competed in another 14 ultra-endurance races, with top-five finishes in nine of them. He set a course record at the 48-hour national championships, beating the previous record by 20 miles with a whopping total distance traveled of 203.5 miles and earning himself a spot among the top 20 ultramarathoners in the world.

In 2008 he was named a "Hero of Running" by Runner's World.[19]

Major Races & Accomplishments[edit]

2016 - Strolling Jim 40 - 4:54:15, 1OA

2016 - Zane Grey 50 Miler - 11:23:29

2013 - 24 Hour Pullup World Record - 4,025 pull-ups

2008 – Kona Ironman World Championship – 11:24:01

2008 – MiWok 100k Race – 9:55:19

2007 – Leadville 100 – 22:15:36

2007 – Badwater Ultra Marathon; 3rd Overall – 25:49:40

2006 – Ultraman World Championship; 2nd Overall – 24:41:23

2006 – Badwater Ultra Marathon – 30:18:54

2006 – San Diego One Day (24 Hours) – 21:21:00 (100 miles)

Motivational Speaking/Inspiration[edit]

David Goggins occasionally gives motivational speeches[20] and is generally seen as an inspiration and motivator for people pursuing goals involving athleticism, endurance, weight loss, and mental toughness.

Enrepreneur Jesse Itzler found Goggins so inspiring upon seeing him at a 24-hour ultramarathon that Itzler called and hired Goggins to live with him in his house for a month. Itzler wrote about his experience on a blog and later published the story as the book Living With A SEAL. .

Obstacles Overcome[edit]

Goggins's accomplishments have become further notable in light of the significant obstacles he has reported, among both his physical characteristics and childhood upbringing, such as:

  • Asthma;[21][22]
  • Sickle cell trait;[23]
  • Psychological and physical abuse during childhood;[24]
  • Graduating high school with a 1.6 GPA;[25]
  • Obesity
    • In the late 1990s, after spending four years in the Air Force, Goggins, who weighed almost 300 pounds, was told that he was far too heavy to make it through SEAL training. In less than three months, he returned weighing 190 pounds.[26]
    • In 2005, when he decided to run an ultramarathon to raise money for charity, he "weighed 280 pounds from years of power lifting...Eight months later, when I ran Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon, I weighed 177 pounds."[27][28]
  • Congenital heart defect - In May 2010, during a routine medical checkup, his doctor discovered a birth defect known as artrial septum defect (ASD), or a hole in his heart, and it’s only able to function at about 75 percent capacity. In “normal” people, this would prevent them from doing activities such as scuba diving or anything at high altitude. Only a few days after learning of the condition, Goggins had surgery to repair his heart.;[29]
  • Having a natural dislike for running and cycling. Goggins's wife in an interview said “He hates running. He hates riding the bike. I’m here to tell you he’s angry every morning he has to do it"[30] but “He realized that in order to gain the attention to raise money, he was going to have to suffer”[31]

World Pull-up Record[edit]

2012 Attempts[edit]

On September 27, 2012, Goggins went on the Today Show to attempt to beat the world record for the most pull-ups done in 24 hours.[32] The main aim of the challenge was to raise money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. After 6 hours and 30 minutes in, David had completed 2011 pullups (halfway to the record). By 9:15 pm, after 13.5 hours David completed pull-up 2588. He had been in considerable pain for hours as a severe bulge burst through the skin of his right wrist. A medical x-ray at 10:30pm confirmed a right extensor polycis complex partial tear. The reason for the injury and the failure in the attempt is thought to be the David's use of a portable pull-up bar that was not bolted down, as opposed to the sturdier equipment he used during the months of training prior to this event.[33] Despite not beating the record Goggins managed to raise more than $20,000 for his chosen charity.

On November 27, 2012, he completed 3,207 pull-ups in 12 hours, but had to stop due to an injury in his right palm.

2013 Success[edit]

On January 20, 2013, in Brentwood, TN, David broke the world record for the most pull-ups done in 24 hours. He completed 4,025 pull-ups in 17 hours, and set a new world record. It was David's third attempt at breaking the record.[citation needed]


  1. ^ http://www.robinsonspeakers.com/speaker-david-goggins-speakers-bureau
  2. ^ http://teamneverquit.com/tnq-members/david-goggins-bio/
  3. ^ http://gaijinass.com/2012/11/24/who-is-david-goggins/
  4. ^ http://www.stripes.com/news/special-reports/he-epitomizes-what-a-seal-is-1.105742
  5. ^ http://davidgoggins.blogspot.com/2009/03/to-hard-men.html
  6. ^ http://www.slowtwitch.com/Interview/An_interview_with_US_Navy_Seal_David_Goggins_580.html
  7. ^ https://twitter.com/brentgleeson/status/251347961701883905
  8. ^ http://davidgoggins.blogspot.com/2010/03/real-deal.html
  9. ^ http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/obituaries/trunnis-goggins-longtime-owner-of-skateland-20131108
  10. ^ http://www.robinsonspeakers.com/speaker-david-goggins-speakers-bureau
  11. ^ http://www.slowtwitch.com/Interview/An_interview_with_US_Navy_Seal_David_Goggins_580.html
  12. ^ http://www.robinsonspeakers.com/speaker-david-goggins-speakers-bureau
  13. ^ http://www.robinsonspeakers.com/speaker-david-goggins-speakers-bureau
  14. ^ http://www.stripes.com/news/special-reports/he-epitomizes-what-a-seal-is-1.105742
  15. ^ Special Operations Warrior Foundation (Website)
  16. ^ http://www.robinsonspeakers.com/speaker-david-goggins-speakers-bureau
  17. ^ Badwater-135 results since 2000
  18. ^ 2007 Badwater Ultramarathon Results
  19. ^ The Warrior: David Goggins (Archived by archive.org)
  20. ^ http://www.robinsonspeakers.com/speaker-david-goggins-speakers-bureau
  21. ^ http://www.stripes.com/news/special-reports/he-epitomizes-what-a-seal-is-1.105742
  22. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20090618122643/http://www.indy.com/posts/b-team-super-athlete-david-goggins
  23. ^ http://www.robinsonspeakers.com/speaker-david-goggins-speakers-bureau
  24. ^ http://www.robinsonspeakers.com/speaker-david-goggins-speakers-bureau
  25. ^ http://www.robinsonspeakers.com/speaker-david-goggins-speakers-bureau
  26. ^ http://www.robinsonspeakers.com/speaker-david-goggins-speakers-bureau
  27. ^ http://www.planet-hu.com/topics/i-met-david-goggins.html
  28. ^ http://www.stripes.com/news/special-reports/he-epitomizes-what-a-seal-is-1.105742
  29. ^ David Goggins: The Toughest Athlete On The Planet?
  30. ^ http://www.stripes.com/news/special-reports/he-epitomizes-what-a-seal-is-1.105742
  31. ^ http://www.stripes.com/news/special-reports/he-epitomizes-what-a-seal-is-1.105742
  32. ^ http://www.nerverush.com/david-goggins-pull-up-world-record-attempt/
  33. ^ http://www.nerverush.com/david-goggins-pull-up-record/

External links[edit]