David Goggins

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David Goggins
Goggins in May 2008
Born February 17, 1975 (1975-02-17) (age 43)
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]

U.S. Navy SEALs Special Warfare insignia.png United States Navy SEALs

Relations Trunnis Goggins (father), owner of the Skateland roller rink in Buffalo, New York[8][1]
Other work Special Operations Warrior Foundation
Featured in the book Living with a SEAL by Jesse Itzler (2015)

David Goggins (born February 17, 1975) is an American ultramarathon runner, ultra-distance cyclist, triathlete and former world record holder for the most pull-ups done in 24 hours. He is a retired United States Navy SEAL and former United States Air Force Tactical Air Control Party member who took part in the War in Afghanistan and the Iraq War.

Military career[edit]

Goggins initially applied to join the United States Air Force Pararescue. Goggins failed his ASVAB twice before succeeding and entering into 'The Pipeline' (Pararescue training). Goggins later became a member of the United States Air Force Tactical Air Control Party also known as TACP. Goggins served his time in TACP and left the United States Air Force.

Goggins succeeded in graduating from BUD/S training with Class 235 in 2001 and was assigned to SEAL Team FIVE. Goggins completed multiple deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2004, Goggins graduated from Army Ranger School with the distinction of enlisted "Top Honor Man." [6]

Navy SEAL David Goggins during demonstration of a beach reconnaissance

Goggins is the only member in the U.S. Armed Forces to complete SEAL training, Ranger School and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training.[1] Goggins retired from active duty as a Chief Petty Officer in 2016.

Goggins also served as the bodyguard for Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.[1]


After several of his friends died in Afghanistan in a helicopter crash in 2005 during Operation Red Wings,[4] Goggins began long-distance running with the aim of raising money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The Foundation gives college scholarships and grants to the children of fallen special operations soldiers.[9]

It has been estimated that Goggins has raised over $2 million for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.[1]

Marathon and Ultramarathon running[edit]

Goggins attempted 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.[10]

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), an 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.[11]

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 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.[12]

He is currently writing a book, "Built Not Born", about his lifestyle, exercise, and diet. It is due out May 7, 2019.

Major races and accomplishments[edit]

2016 - JFK - 50 Miler - 7:30:36

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

2013 - Badwater Ultra Marathon 135 Miler, Death Valley, CA - 32:44:10

2009 - HURT Trail 100-Mile Endurance Run Honolulu - 25:28:00. 4th place of 43 finishers

2008 - McNaughton Park Trail Run 150 Mile - 33:36:20 Course record

2008 – Kona Ironman World Championship – 11:24:01 939th place overall of 1632 finishers

2008 – MiWok 100k Race – 9:55:19

2007 – The Bear 100 Miler, Logan, UT – 22:52:52

2007 - Leadville Trail 100 Miler, Leadville, CO - 22:15:36

2007 – Badwater Ultra Marathon 135 Miler, Death Valley, CA - 3rd Overall – 25:49:40

2007 - Zane Grey 50 Miler - 11:27:56. 17th place of 91 finishers

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

2006 – Badwater Ultra Marathon – 30:18:54

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

Motivational speaking[edit]

Goggins occasionally gives motivational speeches[1] and is generally seen as an inspiration and motivator for people pursuing goals involving athleticism, endurance, weight loss, and mental toughness.[citation needed]

Entrepreneur Jesse Itzler, upon seeing Goggins perform at a 24-hour ultramarathon, 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. [citation needed][13]

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;[4][14]
  • Sickle cell trait;[1]
  • Psychological and physical abuse during childhood;[1]
  • Graduating high school with a 1.6 GPA;[1]
  • Obesity
    • In the late 1990s, after spending four years in the Air Force, Goggins, who weighed almost 300 pounds, was told that he was too heavy to make it through SEAL training. In less than three months, he returned weighing 190 pounds.[1]
    • 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."[15][4]
  • Congenital heart defect
    • In May 2010, during a routine medical checkup, his doctor discovered a birth defect known as atrial septal defect (ASD), or a hole in his heart, and it’s only able to function at about 75 percent capacity. This condition typically prevents people 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.;[16]
  • 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"[4] but “He realized that in order to gain the attention to raise money, he was going to have to suffer”[4]

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.[17] The main aim of the challenge was to raise money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. After 6 hours and 30 minutes in, Goggin had completed 2011 pullups (halfway to the record). By 9:15 pm, after 13.5 hours, he completed pull-up 2588. He had been in considerable pain for hours as a severe bulge burst through the skin of his right wrist. An x-ray at 10:30pm confirmed a right extensor pollicis complex partial tear. The reason for the injury and the failure in the attempt is thought to be the Goggin'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.[18] Despite not beating the record, Goggins raised 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 19, 2013, in Brentwood, Tennessee, Goggins 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 his third attempt at breaking the record.[19][20]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Speaker David Goggins, Book David Goggins, US Navy SEAL - Robinson Speakers Bureau". Robinsonspeakers.com. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "Who is David Goggins?". Gaijinass.com. 24 November 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "'He epitomizes what a SEAL is'". Stripes.com. Retrieved 17 September 2017. 
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ a b "An interview with US Navy Seal David Goggins". Slowtwitch.com. 
  7. ^ Brent Gleeson [@brentgleeson] (27 September 2012). "My Navy SEAL brother (fellow BUD/s class 235 and Team 5) David Goggins is on the @TodayShow to break the pull-up record and raise $$!" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  8. ^ "Trunnis Goggins, longtime owner of Skateland". Buffalonews.com. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2017. 
  9. ^ "Special Operations Warrior Foundation -". Specialops.org. 
  10. ^ Badwater-135 results since 2000 Archived 2011-09-29 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Cramer, Cathy. "AdventureCORPS Presents :: 2007 Badwater 135 :: Race Results". dbase.adventurecorps.com. 
  12. ^ "RW Hero of Running David Goggins at Runner's World.com". 8 December 2008. Archived from the original on 8 December 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2017. 
  13. ^ Itzler, Jesse (2015). Living with a SEAL: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet (1st ed.). New York, NY: Hachette Book Group. pp. 3–9. ISBN 9781455534678. 
  14. ^ "Indy.com - Post: B-team: Super athlete David Goggins - Indianapolis, Indiana". 18 June 2009. Archived from the original on 18 June 2009. Retrieved 17 September 2017. 
  15. ^ "i met david goggins! - Planet health upgrade". Planet-hu.com. 
  16. ^ "Never A Bad Day: Large And In Charge - Triathlete.com". Triathlete-europe.competitor.com. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2017. 
  17. ^ "David Goggins Attempts 24 Hour Pull Up World Record - Nerve Rush". Nerverush.com. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2017. 
  18. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: David Goggins 24-Hour Pull Up World Record: Take #2". Nerverush.com. 20 November 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2017. 
  19. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tSTk1083VY
  20. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIrT1eHs1b0&t=2m11s

External links[edit]