Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ultrarunner David Goggins to Be Featured on NBC Ironman Coverage This Saturday

Ultrarunner David Goggins, the Navy SEAL and "100 Mile Man", will be featured on the NBC coverage of the Ford Ironman World Championship this Saturday, Dec 13th, 2:30EST (check your local listings for times). Here's what the press kit said:

"David Goggins, a member of the NavySEALS, as well as an endurance athlete who has completed several ultramarathons. He races to raises money in honor of 11 military personnel who were killed in Afghanistan in 2005 - Goggins attended training school with four of them. He has raised nearly $300,000 for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which pays the college tuition for children of special-operations personnel killed in the line of duty."
I've heard that David is a nice guy, so I suspect he will do us ultrarunners proud. But his new Web site ups the ante of self-promotion to near-Karnazes levels, and I can't help but wonder if that's the best way to bring attention to his endurance achievements (which, to be honest, pale in comparison to his services to our country and need no promotion whatsoever). The Web site claims to that he "ranks him one of the Top 20 ultrarunners in the world", and his video starts by saying he is the "SICKEST endurance athlete in the world" complete with how many pull ups and sit ups he can do. Oh, my! It is impressive, but do you think this level of self-promotion is the best possible means?

I don't mean to nitpick or judge, since I don't really know the guy. I will say that one thing does sort of get my goose as an ultrarunner - it appears he doesn't like the sports he is participating in. According to the site, he got 2nd in the Ultraman (2x Ironman distance) on a rented bike with little training, and didn't really enjoy it. Completing the Ultraman is impressive, but is a lack of preperation really the horn you want to toot? Isn't that like me saying I did the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 in flip-flops? Perhaps highlighting that this isn't out of desire for the sport itself is to emphasize his drive for his chosen charity, which is admirable. But I couldn't help but think it was a lost opportunity to connect deeply with an audience of passionate people that could carry his message forward.

I'm doing some armchair critiquing here, but I don't mean to judge. I suspect there is a story here that I don't know, and there may be good reasons to make his claims in the manner he does. If David is able to get a few more folks to check out this ultrarunning thing, I'm sure the sport will be better for it. Certainly the Special Operations Warrior Foundation will too. I'm just curious what others think, so I will blog away. Honestly, it's a bit unfair to even raise the question without meeting him first. I'm hoping one of you has and can shed some light on the subject.

Regardless, I wish David the best in his pursuits and hope to have a chance to meet him in the future. If you would like to donate to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, just click through on the link. I'll give Mr. Goggins this much - he's brought to my attention a very worthy cause. NBC will do this for millions more.

- SD


  1. I checked out the website after Quad Dipsea, and too was surprised a bit by his claims that he doesn't even enjoy running/training/etc, but rather only does it for the foundation.

    Whatever, he seemed cool when I passed him on the final leg out of Stinson Beach. ;-)

    He definitely has a presence about him, and the hype seems to have recently reached a new level with the magazine cover(s). Appears sincere about his motives, so good for him, an admireable guy/athlete.

    Will G.

  2. It's really hard to put Goggins on the same level as Dean in terms of personality and self-promotion.

    He seems pretty selfless and like someone who would let his actions do the talking before his mouth would. I'm going to refrain from jumping on the 'bash Goggins' bandwagon just because he landed a spot on TV and on a few covers.

    If it's all in the name of charity, good for him I say. I will presume for now (until proven otherwise) that his character and PR machine are not one in the same.

  3. I met David in Chamonix for UTMB (Mt Blanc). He's a solid guy with a big heart. And a big mission. David's Navy Seal background, or maybe it's just David, has given him the confidence to really look at our sport as well as all the "World Toughest" competitions in a new light.

    David is driven by his goal to raise money for the families of his lost comrades. I respect and support what he's doing. And I know he needs to go "big" on the PR front to, at the end of the day, get as many kids as possible through school.

    Go David.

    Kami Semick

  4. I totally see your point.

    But lets try a different perspective. This guy is fighting hard to raise money from average people - average people have no idea ultramarathons and ultraman competitions even exist.

    So I think he's marketing himself more to those people than others.

    If I remember right he won a 150 mile race in the midwest? He did finish 2nd in the Ultraman...he finished top 3 2 years ago at Badwater? Under 26 hours to go 135 miles uphill in 120 degree heat?

    And no, I promise the fact that he could kick my ass in 2.7 seconds has nothing to do with my post. I promise.

  5. So I know he's doing this for a good cause and all, but why is he advertising? I cannot go to facebook without seeing banner ads for his website...

    PR is fine, but since when do fledgling non-profits buy advertising space.

  6. Anyone who has any kind of website or blog or whatever--you included--is dabbling in some sort of self-promotion. It's human nature. Like when you talk about the amazing Vespa, it probably means you have some sort of deal with Vespa. And you might not have scored the deal with Vespa had you not had a popular blog. So no sour grapes, and yes I am posting anonymously but I will reveal myself by email if it is important to you.

  7. Shoot, on three hours sleep every night he's likely lost his sense of reasoning and can plead some sort of insanity.

    I don't see anything wrong with what DG is doing, just like I don't see anything wrong with Dean K or what he's accomplished over the years. I wish I could make a living running or cycling.

    David's "normal" day is a bit wacky and doesn't seem sustainable.

  8. Seems to me like he's both doing good things and also promoting himself. Regardless, he could use some help with the figures for his website: In his movie, he says that the average resting HR for a man is 72, and his is 36. In his bio, he says that the average resting HR for a man is 75, and his is 30. Some difference there!


  9. 3 hours of sleep? no thank you.

    i love running, and running ultras, but i will never give up good sleep, i will never view food as purely an energy source, and i will never give up the beer.

  10. Anyone who has interacted with David knows there is a disconnect here. In fact, between doing missions in Iraq and Afganistan, training (nilitary & ultras) and travelling across the US doing motivational speaking, the guy has not time....he was pulled off mission and flown in for Kona, then flown back onto mission (in Iraq / Afganistan) then arrived back inthe states like the day before Quad.

    Its pretty obvious the hype was done by a media company and publicist using their typical canned package....I will give these people a break as they have absolutely no reference in their lives about what makes an ultra distance athlete tick let alone a special ops soldier...just as the rest of the public has no idea, thus, are gullible to all the hype....David has to have an ego, hell, we all do as ultra athletes let's admit it, but his ego has been channelled toward causes greater than himself.

    BTW, David Goggins also uses VESPA....

    Now for some fun!...

    Scott, you must be getting ready to punch out of Hi-tech with all these sponsorship deals you have going.... I mean, this gig must make doing an IPO way back in the heyday of the internet bubble seem like peanuts!

    It is also human nature to knock something or someone you are not familiar with or is/are different from you...actually, the research is now pointing this to be an animal defense/survival mechanism and the link was first proposed by some researchers who studied ants and hypothesized all animals up to and including humans carried this behavior as a survival mechanism...since this hypothesis was novel when it was first published, it, too, was trashed...

    So, don't hold your breath out there, Scott is probably not quitting his day job to be a full time ultra jock...consider for a moment it might be that Scott writes his blog and promotes products and stuff he believes in because he can due to his success in business.

  11. All great points, everyone. I'm glad to hear from those who have met David in person. He sounds like a solid guy. And he certainly LOOKS solid too. ;-)

    The Anonymous commenter is right that self-promotion is one big grey area that includes everything from blogs to book deals to self-proclaimed champions. It would be wrong of me not to put my blogging in that boat. Although it started for simple reasons (so I didn't have to send 50 e-mails each Sunday replying to "how did the race go?"), there were some definitely lines that I crossed.

    Here's how I break it down in my head (IMHO):

    Line #1 - Starting the blog in the first place. As I mentioned, it began with simple selfish reasons to save time. But I also wanted to post pictures, write down the best parts, and I hoped that it might convince others to try the sport. So in essence, I began reaching out to people I didn't know. That is self-promotion no matter how you slice it.

    Line #2 - From "diary" to "magazine". When I started adding interviews, race updates from races I didn't do, and research pieces on things like the "runners high", the readership went up significantly. Those entries continue to be the most trafficked on the site over time as well, and attract the most new people. I got excited to see the trend, but it was clear to me I had made a choice to do something more than post my thoughts. Most of the readers just think of it like a magazine - a source of information, more so than a personal diary.

    Line #3 - Endorsing products, training methods, and techniques. If the blog is just a diary, it's certainly okay to say "this works for me" and share with your friends. But when you've already crossed Line #2, it has a very different flavor to it. If I endorse a shoe, I often get a lot of e-mail from other shoe manufacturers saying it wasn't fair to not include them. Wha? Clearly the expectation is there that an endorsement should be impartial and complete if I'm going to be serious media. I've had some great conversations with people at Runner's World, Trail Runner, etc. about this - the blog refuses to be defined.

    Line #4 - Adding logos and getting pro deals for products I like. Every logo you see on the right has some sort of pro deal/discount behind it. They all came about the same way - I openly endorsed the product, then they called and asked if I would like to join a team or get a discount in exchange for some promotion on the site. It felt natural to do, since I already use the products and they viewed me as an ambassador rather then a team member who can crank out the wins. So why not get a discount? But it certainly taints the first impression of readers. Do I taut Vespa because it works, or because that logo is there? Personally, I know it works for me so I don't mind putting it up there. It's no different than being at a race and sharing secrets with runners (which is in fact how I heard about Inov-8, Injinji, Vespa and others). But as a reader, you're right to be skeptical. That logo reflects a partnership of sorts.

    Line #5 - Getting paid for placement/ads on the blog. I haven't done this one. I fear that this is much darker line that could taint my motives. The more traffic, the more money, so write as often as possible even if it's about things I don't care much about. I just don't want to think about it that way. Nor do I want to explain to interviewees that I'm making money off of this, when it sounds so much better as a "labor of love". But there isn't a month that goes by that I don't get a call about advertising. Given the traffic levels, it would be worth about $15-20k/year. Someone else in this position might be able to make money full-time in their passion, and that's pretty cool. So I don't think it's wrong to cross this line. It's just not for me.

    Line #6 - Paid advertising to draw people to your site. Well, if you've crossed line #5, #6 is just a few inches away. Some times it sneaks up on you. I've had a magazine say they would let me run ads for my blog in exchange for use of the stories and pictures. I could see a case for those beyond line #5 where this would make sense to build a bigger audience.

    Line #7 - Self-proclaimed champion. I don't mind tauting a recognized accomplishment, like winning a race, USATF/IAU title, or local Series. I think that's an amazing thing, and you should be proud of it. But as soon as you say (or allow other editorial) that you are "one of the greatest in the sport", you've crossed line #7. Many can legitimately cross this, and all the power to them. But you gotta be careful. I used to have "2004 Trail Running Magazine Champion" in my's legit for a few years, but it sounds like boasting after a while. I even correct people when they call me an "elite" runner. I've met elite runners. They have showered, eaten, and changed their clothes long before I reach the finish line.

    Line #8 - I am my brand. Folks like Karnazes have an audience bigger than the sport itself. Their personal brand is big and carefully managed. It defines who they are. Everything they do will likely have a branding element to keep the machine moving, and some things will be done purely to keep the brand moving. You have to fully commit to this one. Few even have the opportunity to do so. I know Karnazes looks himself and the mirror and says "one more person will get off the couch today, one more kid might go outside rather than take a run, so keep going". I'm sure Goggins thinks the same with those scholarships. You have to have some serious ego and fortitude to pull it off. Lord knows the critics will come out everywhere.

    So Anonymous is right - I'm deeper in the grey area than many, but not as deep as others. It's all quite an adventure if you ask me.

    Cheers, SD

  12. To the anonymous commenter whom I just deleted:

    I'm happy to leave up controversial comments. I simply ask that you have the integrity to sign you name.

    Thx, SD

  13. Well Put Scott! Keep doing what you enjoy (running & blogging) and those of us who come here for motivation, information, or whatever will continue to do so.

    As for as endorsements go, I being new to the sport have tried a handful of your endorsements. Most of them didn't end up being for me, but the ones that did I'm glad to have with me in my running endeavors. So thank you Scott!

  14. I tried some of the products (and drills) Scott recommended, and some of them worked. some of them did not but he said it wouldn't work for everyone. Of course he is at a different stage than I am in my training (second marathon), and much older so maybe thats why. I like that he messes up a lot of things and shares those experiences like dehydration, cramps, eating too much. It helps to hear that I'm even somebody who has done a lot of races has issues.

    If DG and DK like what they are doing, more the power to them. I'm not sure why everyone gets all offended when somebody says they are good at what they do. Just go meet them first.

    I don't mean to be anonymous, but I can't get a login from my phone.

    Hal Greer, San Diego

  15. I see no problem with self promotion. If it gets sponorships and helps a lot of people achieve their goals. There is no such thing as "selling out" unless you do not belive in what you are selling and just want to make a buck. I say good for them. We dont complain when other types of athletes are doing it. I have a Carlos Boozer basketball jersey.

    I think every runner that completes a 50 miler or beyond can say they are one of the greatest of all time. Very few people in the world can do it.

    If you have a problem with it then just train hard and beat those guys in races. Then you can say that you whooped one of the "greatest" Ultrarunners in the world. In fact you could make a T-shirt that has that on it. I think it would help you get the chicks!! jk

  16. Gotta comment on your, Scott, comment, not so much on David, whom I've met briefly, but don't know really (same goes for DK, and I don't form opinions unless I know a person on a level deeper than adds and "hello"). So, blogging. I believe we all (or at least those back in days) started it as a means of communication with friends. It grew. Strangers (so to speak) come visit and apparently get inspired. People get drawn into sports. Awesome! I am all for this! But I turned down enough adds if they are not appealing to me personally - even if I do know the product/races are great. And I stay true to myself to write what is important to me - even if the traffic lessens. Did you notice how few comments you get when you post Sophie's pictures and write how she grows up? Weird, huh? Like the rest of runners are not family folks with solid values of promoting inside family bonds? But many blogs are looked upon as strictly running campaigns. Oh, well. You can't please everybody - and after all, that's not why you really write, is it? Logos - yup, I am on it with you. I use a product - I put a link to it. I've been sponsored pretty much all of my running life somehow (6 out of 7.5 years), but I only link products I use REGULARLY and believe in. I actually rarely even talk about them, on the blog, I just use them, and tell about them if somebody does express interest. And I am yet to make any money off any of it:) Do we self-promote by having a blog? At this point, yes, you betcha. Why - is a whole different question with answers vary as much as there are people out there. I know for sure - I'd have missed your posts had you stopped blogging. But the decision to continue - and what to continue about - is entirely up to you.

  17. I'm not a fan of this David Goggins. He was in Runner's World recently, referring to himself in the 3rd person "I push myself to find out what David Goggins is all about" - sheesh. Lance Armstrong doesn't even refer to himself in the 3rd person, and Lance has actually WON a few events.


    this was an interesting interaction between David and another runner online.

    warning. colorful language.

    Mikal Doscic
    Reno, NV

  19. Scott, I like you full disclosure. That could be a blog in itself.

    I've been waiting for someone to draw the comparison of Dean Karnazes to David Goggins. It was just a matter of time. It was beginning to feel like there was a fear to make the comparison because it would be bashing the intent of the Goggins cause. I've been looking at it and thinking why is Dean Karnazes being bashed by the ultrarunning community but David Goggins is not? They are both very good endurance runners and they both win races where there is less than elite competition. Most importantly, they are both very good at promoting their accomplishments for a good cause.

    So who cares? Is everyone going to start bashing David for claiming to be one of the 20 best like they do with Dean Karnazes?

    Both of these guys are using their ultrarunning exposure and wins to do a hell of a lot more for charity than I or most others are doing, so I have a problem with anyone who would minimize there accomplishments because they are boastfull in order to promote a good cause.

    I don't see any other runner above their calibur, running for a good cause and giving as much as they do. They both should be commended for what they do.

  20. Hi,
    I'm a friend of Jon Olsen's wife, Denise. She and I grew up together in Germany. I have been trying to find her for a long time. I typed in Jon's name and your blog came up. Can you email me any contact information that you may have to :taychambers at yahoo dot com. I would really appreciate it.

  21. This is a great set of posts! I can remember even a few years ago when an ultrarunner could have run to the moon and back and there would be 0 comments.

    I like the transparency and the arguments because it means people care and maybe more people will put the McDonalds down and go for a run.

  22. Bev and I got to spend significant time with David during the 2007 Plain, and I thought he was a truly nice guy, a great athlete (obviously), doing it for a worthy cause, and still able to fit it in with service to the country. More power to him for getting the media attention.
    Al Abbs

  23. Great dialog here, my conclusion (especially after reading his replies to harlemrunner) is he's about as well-rounded as one can, fit, tough, dedicated, compassionate, loyal, etc.

    Again, the only thing that I take any issue with is when he says he doesn't enjoy running. I suppose that plays into the hardened image, but for some reason I kind of take it personal. No big deal really.

    Will G.

  24. ugh. This Harlem 26.2 is the same guy who thinks ultra runners aren't real athletes and that they are just a bunch of people who can't run marathons fast enough, so they turn to ultrarunning, blah, blah, blah (I read his diatribe on that topic last year). He knows as much about endurance running as my soup spoon. I enjoyed reading DG's response, on that guy's site, shoving the smack talk back in this guy's face.

  25. You are right of course Scott, DG and DK are bigger than just ultrarunning, they are trying to reach a far wider audience – and by and large I think they are doing this with very good intentions – to raise money for charity and get people up and active. So, I am quite happy to give these guys some poetic license (top 20 ultramarathoner, crawling up Robie Point etc.), especially since they (more than anyone else) have really boosted to boost the image and profile of the sport we know and love.

    I'll take a case in point from my run this morning. I ran with a guy from the UK who had never contemplated an Ultra until he read Deans book. He has now raced ultras for two years and is unbeaten – including winning the prestigious London to Brighton (one of the world's oldest ultras). Now, at the end of his marathon career he is super-excited a whole new running career path has opened up for him.

    Also, The Dean Machine and the Goggins Express probably do not have total control over their own image. The Publishing Company certainly has big stake in Deans image and the Military has a big stake in Davids image. They (rather than just the athletes themselves) have a huge vested interest in making the athlete appear super-human and the event they compete in appear almost impossibly hard.

    Will: Based your Quad Dipsea finish - congrats on cracking the top 20-ultramarathoners list :-)

    Shaunta: Jon has his own blog here:

    Hey Scott, have you noticed that whenever Karnazes or Vespa get discussed you get 5x the usual number of comments :-)

    Cheers, Paul

  26. Since this is about me, I think that it is good for me to say some things. First, I want to thank the people who have actually met me and came to my defense. For everybody else, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I haven't earned 1 dime from Ultrarunning. As a matter of fact, my family has spent thousands of dollars trying to raise money for this foundation. The 100 Mile man is not who I am,,, So I am not the self proclaimed 100mileman. The 100 Mile man is actually a foundation that was started by a man who wanted to raise a million dollars by running running a 24 hour race. His goal was to run a 100 miles in 24 hours. This man called me because he heard about what I was doing. He asked if I would help support thier foundation. As you can see I said yes. If you have looked on the 100mileman website, you have seen a lot of information about me that I myself did not put on the website. By the way,,,, I do not have a website, nor did I start a facebook page on myself. I do not have an ego. Compairing me to Dean K is just plain funny. They guy makes a living off of running and writing books. I make a living in the military. Being in the military, you can not be sponsored by anyone and except money from sponsors. By the way.... I'm sorry that me getting 3 hours of sleep offends people. In order for me to do my job and train for these events, that is what I have to do. I do not run for the military. They ask me at times to do things for them and I do, but it is not my job to be an athlete for them and I do not trian during work hours. When I go to races, I must take leave and pay for it out of my pocket. When I raise money for the foundations, I also race on my dime. The 100 mile man foundation has been supportive of me raising awareness and raising money for the Special Operations Warrior Foudnation. It truely amazes me that grown people have the time to put this kind of crap on line about someone they have never met. I choose running 100 mile races to raise money because it was a hard thing to do and because it was a sport where people just did their own thing. That is the best thing about this sport, you are on your own. Sorry to have to explain myself, but I want people to at least have the correct facts when they decide that I'm a bad guy or a self promoter for my own personal gain. The 100 mile man foundation put that I was one of the top 20 ultra runners because ultra running magazine listed me in the top 20 last year. I'm not saying it to kiss my ass. I know how they pick the top athletes and I raced a lot in 2007. I by no means have ever said that about myself. It is true that I don't like to run. I weighed 280 lbs in 2005. You will see how much I enjoy running when you stop seeing my name in the results when I reach my personal goal of the amount of money I would like to raise. I didn't see it fit to have a bake sale when 11 fellow SEAL's were killed in the war. So, I decided to pick something hard to honor the hard men that they were. And the hard time their families would be going through. Once again I want to thank those of you who support my efforts and no me for who I am, not what they read.

  27. See now I think that reply, in his (your) own words, is much more powerful info than that from the website, your message is much more clear/defined.

    "It truely amazes me that grown people have the time to put this kind of crap on line about someone they have never met".

    I don't agree with that, you've chosen to have a public image and allowed selective (often hyped) highlights of your life, and people naturally react, as you should expect.

    You clearly can articulate your own story/goals better than anyone else, and personally I feel the realities (everything you just explained in reply here) build a much stronger image (than site), and help to actually understand who you are and what you are about.

    Anyways, I'm glad I feel I've got to 'know' you better as a result of this blog topic, and wish growing/continued support & success.

    Will G.

  28. After reading that Harlem post and David's post here, I stick to my earlier comment.

    Including the part where I say I promise I'm not posting this just because he could kick my ass in 0.27 seconds.

    Just be glad you didn't phrase your post as crass as that poor Lance POS did.

  29. Thank you everyone for sharing your comments. I didn't mean for this post to be a "thumbs up or thumbs down on David Goggins". I really was hoping this would be more of a commentary on the publicity of individuals in ultrarunning. The posts of those who met him above say David is a pretty solid guy. So if you have comments, let's try and not get too personal.

    David, I can't thank you enough for posting above. It clarifies a lot of things for me about the 100-Mile Man site and how it fits into your outbound profile. You are right that I should be careful to comment on people I haven't met, and I didn't mean for this to be a commentary about you at all. Simply about the promotional aspect of what we're seeing.

    For example, I saw that you were going to be on NBC for the Ironman coverage. I don't know you, so I Googled you like most people would. What came up was the 100-Mile Man promotion/videos/etc. That's what I have to work with to get my initial impression of David Goggins. Do I know who you are? Absolutely not. Does the material make me form opinions about you? Yes, whether I like it or not. All I'm saying is be careful how and when others promote you. It might give folks the wrong message.

    Your comment above clarified plenty for me. Thanks again for taking the time to do it. BTW, I thought your NBC coverage was great. It really got the message about your foundation across well.

    I don't even know what to say about the Harlem Web site guy. It's one thing to critique, it's another thing altogether to personally insult someone like that. My sympathies to you, David. If it makes you feel any better, I get comments like that monthly on my blog and I'm not even doing anything that interesting. ;-)


  30. David Goggins can put whatever he wants to on his site. What he's done for his country and his fellow soldiers is far more than anything I've done in my life. Sometimes it's okay to just sit back and be impressed.

  31. The Ultra World Feeding Frenzie: Why is it the ultra world is so critical of those that are unlike themselves? Specifically, those that get recognition outside the spinning webs of self reffering circular ultra-blogdem.

    I support David Goggins, I passed him at McNaughton last year in his last couple of miles of a grueling 150 miles and he was a wreck, but he still had enough to give me encouragement as I scampered through the JV 50 miler. I support any member of the armed forces. I support any ultra runner that weighs over a 180lbs and knows what is like to compete with you lightweights in your world of anti gravity. I support any runner that studies or practices another form athletic achievement that results in something other than thread like biceps.

    Scott, you say you blog to save time? You blog to feed your ego -- come clean, own it, then keep blogging if that's what turns your boat, but don't look down on others that sail another. Gimme' a break, we don't have to blog, we don't have to get emails or reply to emails either..just unplug from the whole scene ...silently run, silently train, silently true warriors, like Mr. Goggins. Like Kami Semick.

    Good luck at States,


    That's Cougarbait

  32. It always makes me laugh when people talk or blog about things they are not schooled on. I had the honor of meeting Mr. Goggins at the Ultraman in 2006. He not only an amazing athlete, but a truely humble man who tries to help as many people as he can. I met him prior to the start of the race when he was picking up his rental bike in a local bike shop. I asked him what other bike he had for the race. He responded very simply, "a buddy of mine is letting me borrow his bike for the race because I didn't want to spend thousands of dollars on a bike that I may only use in once race." He also informed me that a fellow endurance athlete had told him about the Ultraman and how hard it was. He thought that it would be a great attention getter to raise money for his foundation.
    He was also very helpful in answering questions about what kind of nutrition he takes and how he trains. Also, another thing that probably isn't in any article or blog you will read, is that David had only 3 weeks after being overseas fighting for our country to prepare for the ultraman. So, being "unprepaired" is a highly offensive term to use when you describe David. He did end up placing 2nd in the Ultraman World Championships didn't he? I wouldn't call that unprepaired. More like determined, driven, and physically in shape.
    Since 2006 I have exchanged several emails with David asking about his training. I know for the average person it seems a little out of touch, but to me, and to others who have actually had the honor of training with David, it's not. After all, I guy that has weighed 280lbs, and served in all three branches of Special Operations, should never be underestimated.
    By the way, for those of you who follow David, I hear he is doing the RAAM bike race in 2009.
    My last comment.... Why bash any human who is protecting our county and our families along with raising money for a better cause?

  33. The website has been renamed/revamped/updated (now

    In his reply here he states..."I make a living in the military. Being in the military, you can not be sponsored by anyone and except money from sponsors".

    While in a posted reply on the site there is a contradiction to that..."I don’t consider having a website self promotion and endorsements are a way for me to both raise money for charity and take care of my family. As for the endorsements...I give a portion of all my endorsement deals to the foundation before I take any".

    I think David is walking a fine line that is going to be difficult to balance and constantly justify.

    Will G.

  34. I know that a lot of people have a problem with people making money in this sport. I'm not sure why. But, on a side note, when you look at every single article, every single, picture, every single web page, there are going to be descrepencies. Other people are writing the articles and web pages, when it comes to print, then I see it as well. They only thing I can oversee is my website, but even then, there are webdesigners who have to update, change, and move things around. I don't make "money" off of endorsements. I have taken product, from companies who have donated money to the foundation. I don't see anything wrong with that. I will say this though.... If in my life at some point I do get out of the military, I will have to make a living doing something else. If companies offer me endorsements as well as money for my foundation, why should I turn that down? Why does that topic offend so many people. I can't count on one hand the number of current ultra runners who recieve endorsements. They have to if they want to comepete in far places and try new things.
    As far as needing to justify what I do, and walking a thin line, do you think that I would throw away a 13 year military career with a very clean military record over taking a small chunk of change. The military looks at all of it's athletes very closely to make sure that doesn't happen. With all the decision we make and everything we do we have to go through Jag lawyers. So as far as that thin line is concerned you don't ever have to worry about me walking a thin line, because I would have to worry about a lot more than pissing ultra runners off.

  35. The last comment was from me, David Goggins. I apologize, I wasn't signed in properly

  36. David-

    I honestly could care less whether you or any other ultra/trail runner makes money from winnings, endorsements, status, etc. It doesn't offend me, or piss me off.

    Those were simply recent quotes attributed to you, and my only point was they contradict one another...because they do.

    So I'm then saying with the (rapidly) growing popularity of your own image/branding you will inevitably have to balance that growth with respect to your charity/foundation.

    Will G.

  37. I am in the Air Force and I actually worked with Goggins in Iraq. I thought he was strange and very quite. I tried to talk to him several times while on base. He comes off very serious at first but then you realize that's just him. He is very militant and disciplined. He did everything by the book. What he did that really caught my attention was when we would get back to base from our shift around 1AM you would see Goggins go straight to his gear and put his running shoes on. He would then leave and be gone for a couple of hours running into the wee hours of the morning. Very occasionally you might see a guy try to hang with him, but usually not after the first time. Then it would be some other sucker who thought they could do it, work all day until 1am and then go pt. Anyway, what was so amazing about Goggins is that we had to be back to work at 4am the next morning. But, I not one time, saw him come into the base and not work out after being out all day and night. He inspired me not to try and be a better man. I didn't know who he was, as an athlete, until a year later when I started reading about all this stuff he was doing for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Anyway, Goggins, if you are out there and read this. Keep being hard! The world needs more men like you. You inspire everyone to dig deeper and "test their limits" . (when I asked him why he was running every night he replied, "I'm testing my limits."
    It was an honor serving with you.

  38. I think the last minute of this video show how great a person David is!

  39. I think ultrarunners do look at this a bit tainted because we run the type of races David's site is talking about. Big claims are needed becuase he is trying to get his name out there to people that are not ultra runners. People that don't understand what covering these types of distances takes. Yea it's marketing/PR "lingo" but so what? How many people invest in products or services where the company says "Our stuff is just average"

  40. I just finished reading this post and all the comments. I score this one Dunlap 4, Goggins 8. The crowd is pulling for Dunlop, but Goggins’ military fans are loud! When I was a kid I was always a little reluctant to get into a fight. There was the prospect of getting my butt kicked. Sometimes it was just unavoidable, because I had to defend my honor. And sometimes I had to bow my head, admit defeat and move on. I don’t think this was a good fight to pick, Scott. The guy is a Navy Seal. He is a soldier and he fights wars. As much as I want to think ultras are a challenge, which they are, and ultra runners are tough, and they are, it all pales to the willingness to lay down your life for something bigger than you. Should soldiers be given immunity from the truth? Definitely not. Does a Navy Seal raising money for fallen comrades deserve being labeled a self promoter? I have my answer. My humble advice? Bow your head and move on.

    Merry Christmas!

  41. I realize it’s late to comment on this post, yet I’m compelled to address what appears to be glaringly obvious but is strangely omitted from discussion, and that is, the David Goggins’ mission (or the description and marketing of) loses sight of a key purpose (bringing public awareness to the absence of financial support from the US government to the descendants of soldiers who have died in combat) and replaces it with glorification of its vehicle.

    Viewing (as well as it’s bizarre that there’s no mention at all about the mothers and fathers who I assume whose children would be the beneficiaries of Goggins’ efforts and our contributions. There are no stories, pictures, list of names, or statements of thanks. Instead, we inundated with the self-recognition of a megalomaniacal narcissist.

    Nevertheless, as Goggins is working for a selfless cause, a point his apologists (which their existence is revealing) are quick to note, he is deserving of the benefit of our doubt.

    So, if I were to accept this story of a Christ like warrior hero who finds his purpose in life during a battle induced epiphany archetype, there are still many problems with his delivery such as:

    Selling the point that _I am nobody special_ and then listing the reasons why he is special is a contradiction.

    Promoting hatred of human activities that many people love is offensive and unnecessary.

    Ridiculing grassroots fundraisers that children across the nation organize is offensive and unnecessary.

    Volunteering for war because it’s something hard to do is not admirable.

    But then, focusing on Goggins isn’t the point. I strongly disagree that this post is about him (as much as he appears willing to leverage his beneficiaries suffering for fame). And I strongly disagree with some of the contributors of this post that it’s a competition between Goggins and Dunlap. Goggins is a distraction. The real story, the real issue, is that men and women go to war, and regardless of the politics, sacrifice their lives. In return, our government, with us as silent witnesses, abandons them and their families. Whether it’s denying Purple Heart benefits to soldiers with PTSD or failing to provide enough support period, our government is failing our vets who then become dependent on private donations to help mitigate their losses.

  42. It is easy to post critical comments under the name "Anonymous". Your valor is astounding.


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