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The Iron Nun Among Inductees to USAT Hall of Fame


The Iron Nun and Lisa Bentley
The Iron Nun and Lisa Bentley

The sixth induction to the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame has been announced. Ironman pioneers John  and Judy Collins and Tom Warren, along with elite legend Mike Pigg and age-group star Madonna Buder have made the 2013 list.

“We are deeply honoured to announce the 2013 inductees into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame,” said Jon Gray Noll, chair of the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame Committee. “These five individuals truly embrace every aspect of the genesis of our sport – founder, elite competitor, pioneer, age-group athlete and innovator. Each person’s contribution and commitment has formed the bedrock upon which today’s triathlon competition thrives. To enshrine them in the Hall of Fame serves to confirm this legacy.”

Founded in 2008, the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame was established to celebrate the most significant contributions to the sport. This year’s inductees will bring the total number of hall of famers to 27. The five inductees will be honoured at a banquet Thursday, June 26 in Chicago to open the ITU World Triathlon Chicago race weekend.

Madonna Buder — Age-Group Athlete (Spokane, Washington)

Madonna Buder is widely known as Sister Madonna or the Iron Nun. She has won 11 US national titles, including eight at the Olympic-distance race at USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals, and she is also a 16-time world champion. In addition to her collection of national and world titles in Olympic-distance events, she has also captured 12 age-group wins at the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. She was named the 1999 USA Triathlon Grand Masters Triathlete of the Year and was considered a competitive rival of fellow Hall of Fame inductee Ethel Autorino.

John & Judy Collins — Contributors (Coronado, California)
Creators of the Ironman Triathlon in 1978 in Hawaii, John and Judy Collins served as race directors of the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii in 1978 to 79. The pair are Ironman finishers themselves, John completing the 1978 Ironman and Judy participating in the 2003 Ironman Revisited on the original Oahu course. Both competed in the first-ever triathlon in the US in San Diego in 1974 along with their 12- and 13-year-old children. Taken with the sport, they convinced their masters swim coach to start the longest-running triathlon in the world (Coronado Optimist Sports Fiesta Triathlon in 1975). They were inducted into the Ironman Hall of Fame in 1998.

Mike Pigg — Elite Athlete (McKinleyville, California)
Known for his cycling prowess, Mike Pigg dominated Olympic-distance racing in the US for several years in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He became the first men’s ITU World Cup winner in 1991 in St Croix. His credentials also include three-time triathlon national champion and two-time USOC Male Triathlete of the Year. He competed in the Ironman World Championship for five straight years from 1985-89, recording his best finish (second) in 1988 behind Scott Molina. A current resident of Humboldt County, California, he remains active in community affairs, acting as the race director for a local youth triathlon and serving a term as chair of the county school board.

Tom Warren — Contributor (San Diego, California)
Tom Warren is considered triathlon’s first folk hero and he has been involved with the sport from the early days in the 1970s. As the winner of the 1979 Ironman Hawaii, he was featured in the pivotal feature in Sports Illustrated, written by Barry McDermott, which helped inspire a generation to participate in the sport. In 1989, he finished third in his age group at the event. He also won the 45 to 49 age group at USA Triathlon’s Age Group Nationals in 1989-90. As an event director, he produced a wildly popular three-leg event called Tug’s Swim-Run-Swim from 1975 to 1985.

Last year’s USA Triathlon Hall of Fame Inductees were:

Missy LeStrange (Age-Group Athlete)
Jim MacLaren (Contributor)
Julie Moss (Contributor)

For more info visit: www.usatriathlon.org