Using Running to Fight PTSD


Juan Hernandez is a runner from Southern California. We’ve run a lot of the same races – including his most meaningful race – the Marine Corp Marathon.  When he was  19 years old he enlisted in the Marines and in 2004 he was deployed to Iraq. It was a very violent time there and the stress of combat wore on him – so one day he decided to run the perimeter of the base in Ramadi.

That decision – to use running and exercise as an outlet and way to cope with the stress of combat probably changed his life. He did 2 tours in Iraq where he lost brothers and got injured himself. Now he credits running helping him cope with PTSD, get physically healthy and more. Juan reached out to me to share his story.

Marine Marathon Runner Juan Hernadez 2 Marine Marathon Runner Juan Hernadez 1

In this podcast episode we talk about…

How Juan started running and running in Iraq

The Semper Fi Fund and how it’s supports veterans being active

How he trains for races – he’s done a lot of half marathons and full marathons

The Marine Corps Marathon

and of course his victory lap!

Marine Marathon Runner Juan Hernadez 6 Marine Marathon Runner Juan Hernadez 10 Marine Marathon Runner Juan Hernadez 8 Marine Marathon Runner Juan Hernadez 5

And I have to show this picture because it’s the cutest!! Juan and his family – everyone runs now! Well, the little one enjoys a ride in the stroller but the rest of them run!

Juan Hernandez Runner

Thank you Juan! I really appreciate it.

If you want to follow Juan on Instagram check out –>  @USMC1Shot  (He has a private account but accepts new running friends.)

Podcast Awards for this episode:

Today’s awards are in honor of Juan and hopefully helpful too…

1. Semper Fi Fund


2. Crisis Text Line – Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, providing access to free, 24/7 support and information via the medium people already use and trust: text.

Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the US, anytime, about any type of crisis.


3. Find a therapist or support group.

If you have health insurance – look up a therapist that’s covered by your insurance online or call. Or find a local support group.

Support Groups…

Depression and BiPolar Support Groups

Alcoholics Anonymous

Narcotics Anonymous


Note – ‘Runner’s Anonymous’ is a strictly online group that meets at or the RER Facebook page as needed. Winking smile  But it’s only anonymous in theory because we all tend to overshare. Then, run to escape the embarrassment. And instead of trying to keep ya off running I try to motivate you to run. So um, keep running. Thanks!

Seriously though… if you need help, support, a friend – please reach out to someone (including me). I’d prefer if you didn’t refer to me as your support animal though, thanks.

Thank you for listening to the RER podcast! Please subscribe and rate the show!! I appreciate it so much!


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