David Goggins Biography & Facts
David Goggins (born February 17, 1975) is an American ultramarathon runner, ultra-distance cyclist, triathlete, public speaker, and author. He is a retired United States Navy SEAL and former United States Air Force Tactical Air Control Party member who served in the Iraq War. His memoir, Can't Hurt Me, was released in 2018.
Goggins was born on February 17, 1975, to Trunnis and Jackie Goggins. In 1981, Goggins lived in Williamsville, New York with his parents and brother, Trunnis Jr. Goggins experienced racism during his early life, being one of the few African Americans in his school. As a six year old, Goggins worked with his family at his father’s skate rink. Goggins and other members of his family suffered constant and severe abuse from his father before escaping from him along with his mother, something which he talks about in the book Can't Hurt Me. In the gap between his discharge from the Air Force and enlisting in the Navy, Goggins worked as a pest control fumigator.
Goggins initially applied to join the United States Air Force Pararescue, and was accepted into training after failing his ASVAB twice. During the training he had been diagnosed with sickle cell trait and was removed from training; he was given the option to restart the training upon his return but chose not to. He then completed United States Air Force Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) training, and worked as a TACP from 1994 until 1999, when he left the United States Air Force. After three attempts, Goggins succeeded in graduating from BUD/S training with Class 235 in 2001 and was assigned to SEAL Team 5. In his 20 year military career, Goggins served in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2004, Goggins graduated from Army Ranger School, and received the "Top Enlisted Man" award.
After several of his friends died in Afghanistan in a helicopter crash in 2005 during Operation Red Wings, 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. Competing in endurance challenges, including the Badwater Ultramarathon three times, has enabled Goggins to raise more than US$2 million for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
Marathon and ultramarathon running
Goggins attempted to enter the Badwater Ultramarathon as a fundraiser, 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 101 miles in 19 hours and 6 minutes. He completed the Las Vegas Marathon in a time that qualified him for the Boston Marathon. Goggins entered into the Hurt-100 in Hawaii. Goggins was invited to the 2006 Badwater-135, where he finished 5th overall.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. He also participated in the Furnace Creek-508 (2009), an ultra-distance invitational Cycling Race.In 2007, Goggins achieved his best finish at the Badwater-135 by placing 3rd overall. He competed in the Badwater-135 again in 2008 and did not finish the race. He competed in the Badwater-135 in 2013 and finished 18th, after a break from the event since 2008. He competed in the Badwater-135 again in 2014 and did not finish the race. 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.In 2008 he was named a "Hero of Running" by Runner's World. In 2016, Goggins won the Infinitus 88k in 12 hours, almost twenty minutes ahead of the next finisher. In the same year, he also won the Music City Ultra 50k, and Strolling Jim 40 Miler.
In 2020, Goggins ran the Moab 240 ultramarathon, placing 2nd in the 241 mile event with a time of 63 hours and 21 minutes, approximately 95 minutes behind race winner Michele Graglia.
As an inspirational speaker, Goggins travels and speaks to sports teams. He has spoken to athletes from professional teams, including the Atlanta Hawks and the Seattle Seahawks, as well as collegiate athletes from the Alabama, Tennessee and Michigan university football programs.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.His self-help memoir, Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds, was released on December 4, 2018. In the book he refers to the 40% rule, his belief that most of us only tap into 40% of our capabilities.
Goggins has reported the following health conditions:
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.
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."
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 between atrial chambers of his heart, and it is 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. Goggins had surgery to repair his heart soon after his diagnosis.Awards and decorations
In 2013, Goggins' awards set the Guinness World Record for most pull ups in 24 hours, completing 4,030, which he held until 2014.
Goggins, David (2018). Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds. Lioncrest Publishing. ISBN 978-1-5445-1228-0.References
Pain, pleasure to the extreme at San Diego Union-Tribune
David Goggins Getting Even More Famous (Archive.org snapshot) at Special Operations Warrior Foundation
Sailors, SEALs complete Ironman at Navy Times
Attention to detail on Goggins' Instagram
. Discover the David Goggins popular books. Find the top 100 most popular David Goggins books.