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Sailor aims to break pullup record

Navy Petty Officer Mike McCastle will attempt to break the Guiness World Record for most pullups during a 24-hour period starting at 6 a.m. Saturday at Fort Nugent Park.   - Photo by Janis Reid / Whidbey News-Times
Navy Petty Officer Mike McCastle will attempt to break the Guiness World Record for most pullups during a 24-hour period starting at 6 a.m. Saturday at Fort Nugent Park.
— image credit: Photo by Janis Reid / Whidbey News-Times

Navy Petty Officer Mike McCastle said he plans to feel some pain.

“It’s a little suffering for a good cause,” McCastle said Thursday. “Pain can impact the individual. People can relate to pain. What I will feel is only a fraction of what (wounded veterans) go through every day.”

McCastle will attempt to break the Guiness World Record for most pullups in a 24-hour period starting at 6 a.m. Saturday at Fort Nugent Park.

The purpose of this feat is to raise awareness and money to assist the Wounded Warrior Project, which supports programs and services for this generation of injured veterans and their families. The event will also offer live music, vendors, a raffle and other activities to help raise awareness and donations. McCastle’s goal is to raise $10,000.

Now an air traffic controller for Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, McCastle said he has been injured several times in his Navy career and knows what its like to “make that journey back to normal life.”

McCastle said he has been fortunate to make full recoveries from his injuries, but other servicemen and women are not so lucky.

“They have given life and limb, and they won’t ever be the same,” McCastle said.

McCastle has participated in a number of different fitness challenges for good causes, like running 30 miles last year to raise money for cancer research. McCastle said he also volunteered his time in Oso after the landslide earlier this year.

The current record for pullups in 24 hours is 4,030, set by Navy SEAL David Goggins.

McCastle’s plan has been to train for the fundraiser in the same way he trains for marathon, with some days more intensive than others. He’s averaging 1,000 to 1,500 pullups a day, he said.

His technique during the event is to do roughly five pullups on the minute, allowing himself the last half of each minute to recover. This plan should net him roughly 300 pullups per hour, which should allow him to beat the record in roughly 14 hours.

McCastle was given permission to raise money for the nonprofit by Lolita Jerido, community events manager for the national Wounded Warrior Project organization.

“Wounded Warrior Project empowers warriors with the tools essential to not just survive their injuries, but to thrive and achieve personal and professional success,” Jerido said in her acceptance letter. “With the help of individuals coming together in their communities, Wounded Warrior Project can strive to fulfill our vision of fostering the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.”

More than 47,000 servicemen and women have been injured in recent military conflicts. In addition to the physical wounds, it is estimated as many as 400,000 service members live with the invisible wounds of war, including combat-related stress, major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Another 320,000 are believed to have experienced a traumatic brain injury while on deployment, according to the Wounded Warrior Project.

“It’s not about the record,” McCastle said. “It’s not about the war. It’s about the warrior. This challenge will test my physical limits, but I will recover. Twenty-four hours of discomfort does not compare to the sacrifice our wounded service members and their families make every day.”

For information or to make a donation, visit https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/individual-fundraising/mccastlepullup24/

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