"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.