From 20s-50s: Marines Share Tips for the Ages

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Fitness is important to the U.S. Marine who face required tests for physical performance each year as part of military readiness training. Meet four active duty Marines who not only meet those two challenges but strive for physical excellence all year. Each has completed an event during Marine Corps Historic Half Weekend. Further, in continuing their devotion to physical fitness, each is already committed to participating in the Quantico Tri or Quantico 12K on August 24 aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico.


Captain Jasmyn Smith, 9 years, Finance officer

  • Hometown: Silver Spring, MD
  • Why I run MCM events: I feel like I’m in my prime as far as running goes. The Historic Half was the first time I’ve run anything over a 10K, and I wanted to push my limits and get ready for the MCM in October. There’s nothing better than running with the Marines. I don’t know 98% of other people in the races, but it feels like family. You can’t mimic that anywhere else.
  • Fitness goal: I started lifting heavy about 4 months ago, and I’d love to run a sub 4-hour marathon while maintaining my strength. Those two things contradict each other, but they can be done.
  • Tip for training in your 20s: Mix up your cardio. You have to run, but you can even mix that up with sprint drills and the arc master. You can also change your resistance. Once or twice a week lift or work on your legs.

Gunnery Sergeant Reginald Williams, 15 years, Food Service

  • Hometown: Shreveport, LA
  • Why I run MCM events: I take pride in being a Marine. I’ve experienced races put on by other branches, but the support and spectators at the Marine Corps events really makes them the best. I love being a Marine and being surrounded by Marines and you just can’t find that at other events.
  • Fitness goal: To stand in front of a Marine and set that example, you have to live it yourself. I love running, it’s my primary activity, and I take pride in my physical ability and appearance in uniform. I strive to be a role model for other Marines to emulate, and my goal is to continue to get better and be that mentor.
  • Tip for training in your 30s: This is the age when you should push yourself. To get faster and stronger, you need to challenge yourself to get better. Find someone who is better than you and train with that person.

Williams’ advice seems to be working, as he earned his first perfect score on a military physical fitness test this May, just days after completing the Historic Half.


Major Jason Woodworth, 30 years, Electronics Maintenance Officer

  • Hometown: Toledo, Iowa
  • Why I run MCM events: I’d always wanted to run the Marine Corps Marathon, but the logistics of travelling to and from were difficult. Since returning to the East Coast, I’ve been able to run the last 10 MCM’s consecutively. The expo is one of the best experiences you can have – there is such a diverse group of vendors there, and you can try out and experience so many new things. The whole weekend is such an enjoyable experience.
  • Fitness goal: It seems like running is harder to do than it used to be! As I prepare for retirement on July 1, my goal now is to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. I’m competing in shorter events and running has become about the experience and traveling to new places.
  • Tip for training in your 40s: Half the challenge of running is mental. You have to be mentally prepared to complete endurance events. For me, that means checking in with myself at the halfway point of every event, no matter the distance. You also have to make sure you train, purposefully include rest days, and listen to your body. It will tell you whether the day should be 6 or 26.2 miles.

Major Tracey Holtshirley, 22 years, Staff Judge Advocate

  • Hometown: Chicago, Ill
  • Why I run MCM events: I ran my first MCM in 1997 and I thought I’d never run again. After reflecting, I realized the challenge was so incredible. Running the MCM depicts what the Marine Corps is about. You have to fight challenges, you have to pace yourself, you have great moments, you have bad moments, and then you look back and think, “Now I know who I am.”
  • Fitness goal: Continue to challenge yourself. For me, that’s integrating swimming and biking, and completing the Quantico Tri. My goal is to see how far back I can turn the clock.
  • Tip for training in your 50s: Just because you're 50 doesn’t mean your old or can’t do anything. It’s time to get back to the basics and actually DO them. You can still push yourself, but you have to be smarter about it. Listen to your body, rest, and stretch. Stay hydrated constantly, not just when you run. We don’t do that enough when we are younger.

Registration is open now to join these Marines at the Quantico Tri, Quantico 12K or Mile on August 24 aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico.

No Federal or Marine Corps endorsement implied.

National Museum of the Marine Corps
National Museum of the Marine Corps


Dedicated to the preservation and promulgation of Marine Corps history, the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation was established in 1979 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. The Foundation supports the historical programs of the Marine Corps in ways not possible through government funds. The Foundation provides grants and scholarships for research and the renovation, restoration, and commissioning of historical Marine Corps artifacts and landmarks. Securing the necessary funding for the complete construction of the National Museum of the Marine Corps and Heritage Center, located in Triangle, Virginia, is the Foundation’s current primary mission while continuing to provide program support for the Corps’ historical, museum, and educational activities. For more information, visit MarineHeritage.org.

The National Museum of the Marine Corps is a lasting tribute to U.S. Marines--past, present, and future. World-class interactive exhibits using the most innovative technology surround visitors with irreplaceable artifacts and immerse them in the sights and sounds of Marines in action. The Museum is a public-private partnership between the U.S. Marine Corps and the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. It is located at 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway in Triangle, VA and is open 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily except December 25th. Admission and parking are free. For more information, call 703-784-6107.