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 (2001–present) and the Iraq War.
Goggins graduated from Army Ranger School & SEAL Training with the distinction of enlisted “Top Honor Man.” 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 $2 million for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
Goggins attempted to enter the Badwater-135 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 the 100 miles in under 19 hours despite never having run a marathon before. He was subsequently granted entry into the 2006 Badwater-135. During the 2006 Badwater-135, he finished 5th overall, an unheard of result from an ultramarathon novice at a world-class event.
Goggins has competed in numerous long-distance endurance events including ultra-marathons. He has participated in 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.
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. He returned to the Badwater-135 in 2013, finishing 18th, after a break from the event since 2008. In 2008 he was named a “Hero of Running” by Runner’s World. His self-help memoir Can’t Hurt Me was released on December 4, 2018.
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.
Goggins said “Motivational Speaker” is just his job title. 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.
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. 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 pull-ups (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 10:30 pm 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. 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 left palm. On January 19, 2013, in Brentwood, Tennessee, Goggins broke the World Record for the most pull-ups done in 24 hours. He completed 4,030 pull-ups in 17 hours and set a new world record. It was his third attempt at breaking the record.