The USA Triathlon Hall of Fame will grow to 27 with the addition of five multisport pioneers and stars who will be inducted June 26 in Chicago at a banquet on the eve of the sole U.S. event on the prestigious 2014 ITU World Triathlon Series calendar.
The members of the sixth induction class will include Ironman creators John and Judy Collins, 1979 Ironman Hawaii champion Tom Warren, elite pro star Mike Pigg and age group legend Sister Madonna Buder.
“These five individuals truly embrace every aspect of the genesis of our sport – founders, elite competitor, pioneer, age group competitor and innovator,” said Jon Gray Noll, chair of the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame Committee and a member of the 2008 Hall of Fame induction class. “Each person's contribution and commitment has formed the bedrock upon which today's triathlon competition thrives.”
The USA Triathlon Hall of Fame was founded in 2008 and although it was later than some triathlon agencies in the Hall of Fame game, it has gained momentum and prestige with its carefully chosem roster over the years.
This year’s inductees have résumés with great depth and breadth of achievement and historical significance in the sport.
Madonna Buder – age group athlete - Spokane, Washington
Sister Madonna Buder started running at the age of 46 and completed her first triathlon at the age of 55. She has won 11 U.S. National Olympic distance age group titles and 16 ITU Olympic distance World titles. She also has 12 age group wins at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii and in 2012 she finished Ironman Canada – her 47th Ironman finish -- in a time of 16 hours 32 minutes. She did so at the age of 82 – a record for both men and women. Known as “The Nun on the Run,” Sister Madonna has mixed athletic feats and works of charity around the world.
John and Judy Collins – Ironman creators – Coronado, California
Navy Commander John Collins and his intrepid wife Judy Collins organized and were race directors of the first two Ironman Hawaii events held on the island of Oahu in 1978 and 1979. Both competed in the very first triathlon, held on Fiesta Island in San Diego in September 1974, along with their 12- and 13-year-old children. Serving as Johnny Appleseeds of triathlon, they used their love of the new sport to convince their masters swim coach to start the longest running triathlon in the world – the Coronado Optimists Sports Fiesta Triathlon in 1975. They also founded an innovative and rugged off-road triathlon in Panama in the first decade of the 21st century. While John and Judy were too busy with running the first two Ironman events, John finished Ironman Hawaii in 1998 and Judy participated in the 2003 Ironman Revisited held on the original Ironman course on Oahu.
Mike Pigg – early professional superstar and training legend – McKinleyville, California
While his signature was his prowess as a dominating cyclist, Mike Pigg was a leading pro at the Olympic distance from the mid ‘80s to the early ‘90s, winning many of the biggest international races and those on the pioneering USTS pro circuit. He became the first U.S. men’s ITU World Cup winner in 1991 at St. Croix, was a three time U.S. National Triathlon Champion, and finished 2nd to Scott Molina at the 1988 Ironman World Championship. Pigg remains active as a triathlon coach, serves as a race director for local youth triathlons and served as chair of his local county school board. In addition, Pigg’s hard training workouts remains legendary for their length, difficulty and imaginative challenges.
Tom Warren – folk hero and Ironman champion – San Diego, California
Tom Warren was one of the heroes who inspired the rapid growth of the sport of triathlon. As the long-shot winner of the 1979 Ironman, he was the featured subject of an enthralling, pivotal feature in Sports Illustrated magazine written by Barry McDermott which directly led to ABC television coverage the following year. Warren’s pure love of self-imposed tests aerobic endurance became the template for the sport’s credo and directly and indirectly led many legends into the sport. While his 11 hours and 15 minute record time was soon eclipsed, Warren grew with the sport and finished 3rd in in his 45-49 age at USA Triathlon Age Group nationals in 1989. As an event director, he organized the popular Tug’s Swim-Run-Swim from 1975 to 1985 as well as a few revivals in the ‘90s.
Previous USA Triathlon Hall of Fame Inductees
Judy Flannery (Age group athlete)
Jon Gray Noll (contributor)
Verne Scott (contributor)
Karen Smyers (elite athlete)
Sheila Taormina (elite athlete)
Jim Curl (contributor0
Barb Lindquist (elite athlete)
Paula Newby-Fraser (elite athlete)
Valerie Silk (contributor)
Carl Thomas (contributor)
Susan Bradley-Cox (age group athlete)
Dave McGillivray (contributor)
Dave Scott (elite athlete)
Mark Allen (elite athlete)
Ethel Autorino (age group athlete)
Bob Babbitt (contributor)
Sally Edwards (contributor)
Scott Molina (elite athlete)
Scott Tinley (elite athlete)
Missy LeStrange (age group athlete)
Jim McLaren (inspirational physically challenged athlete)
Julie Moss (inspirational athlete)