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Two first-time winners in Maui Oceanfront Marathon

January 20, 2014 - Robert Collias
The Maui Oceanfront Marathon has grown to include about 350 finishers in just three years.

I had a good time talking to winners Walt Spangler and Shawna Jones, who both won marathons for the first time on Sunday.

Spangler is a new Mauian, fresh off eight years of service as an Army officer in the infantry and special forces with deployments to Afghanistan and the Philippines. Jones is visiting from Raleigh, N.C.

Both had their children close on Sunday — Spangler's daughter are both under 2 years old, while Jones' kids are teens.

Here is a snippet of my story:

“It’ll be cool in a few years that I can tell them ‘Dad won a race,’ ” Spangler said. “I’m guessing my wife is going to be pretty surprised. I mean, I surprised myself today. I didn’t think I was going to win.”

While the Spanglers will have to be told of their father’s first marathon victory, Jones, 43, had her children Savannah, 14, Sterling, 12, and husband David waiting at the finish line to watch her first win in her 22nd marathon.

Savannah, who competes for the Broughton High School cross country team that her mom coaches, ran the 10K on Sunday.

“It is awesome, it is glorious,” said Shawna Jones, a former Iowa State University runner. “It is such a glorious race and they did a great job. The prayer at the start was really cool.”

Half-marathon winner Albert Han also had a fun tale of how he found the race.

“We just came here for vacation and the woman next to us on the plane was going to run the marathon, so my wife said, ‘Let’s run the half,’ ” Han said. “It’s pretty cool to win. It’s awesome. It’s pretty special.”


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