- – He earned numerous age-group records from 400 meters through the marathon.
- – He ran a 3:59 Marathon PR at age 77.
- – He was a member of the all-American swim team during the last three years of his life.
- – He earned a number of national swimming titles.
- – He won the Golden Shoe Award in 1987 for inspiring other senior citizens toward healthier lifestyle.
Spangler earned a reputation for going beyond what was physically and mentally expected for his age. His story was covered in many news publications. To highlight a couple:
As highlighted in the article, THE HUMAN | RACE, edited by Eileen Portz-Shovlin >>>
“In 1987, 88-year-old Paul Spangler traveled to Melbourne, Australia, and won six gold medals at the World Veterans Games – a track-and-field competition held every two years for athletes 35 and older. ”
“‘Everyone should have a fitness program so they can enjoy a high quality of life,’ says Spangler, a retired doctor from San Luis Obispo, California, who runs 25 miles and swims 3 miles a week.”
As highlighted in the article, 86-year-old physician wreaks havoc on running trail >>>
“LONG BEFORE his running days, Dr. Spangler was acting Navy chief of surgery, a post he held at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack. After a brief return to private practice, he rejoined the Navy, retiring from it in 1959. He spent two years with Project Hope, then was a prison surgeon at the California Men’s Colony until his 1969 retirement.”
“Now, Dr. Spangler, a 1923 Harvard Medical School graduate, tries to ‘avoid work as much as possible.’ In addition to running, he belongs to a barbershop quartet – to keep his voice active – and maintains his yard.”
Read more of the article here.
Dr Spangler was beyond remarkable.
I do hope that someone has written his biography.
He lived though so many events of the twentieth century and created a lasting legacy. He is a hero.