Earth to Jenny: Come in, Jenny

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
Outside magazine, May 1996

Earth to Jenny: Come in, Jenny

"Not to be rude," said third-place finisher Anne Marie Lauck after she and the rest of a strong field were trounced by a mysterious number 61 at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Columbia, South Carolina, "but who are you?" Ms. Lauck, meet Jenny Spangler, whose course record 2:29:54 eclipsed her personal best, set 13 years ago, by nearly four minutes. Lauck, like the race's other front runners, figured the unknown 32-year-old from Gurnee, Illinois, was a rabbit who would eventually crash and burn. But Spangler, a former record-setting junior marathoner who had been out of the sport for six years, was in peak form after spending the last two months training with the prestigious Santa Monica Track Club. Her plan to surge in the hills at mile 16 worked to perfection, as Spangler built a 300-yard lead and coasted to the finish line, breaking the tape 12 seconds ahead of Californian Linda Somers.

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