John Collins

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John Collins with family, son Michael Collins, wife Judy Collins, and daughter Kristin Collins in Hawaii
John Collins is an inductee in the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame as a Contributor, endurance athlete, event director, creator of the Ironman triathlon, and a retired Commander in the U.S. Navy. He and his wife Judy Collins co-founded the Ironman triathlon on Oahu in 1978 and the Portobelo Panamá Triathlon in 1998. They are both 1988 inductees in the Ironman Hall of Fame.

[edit] USA Triathlon Hall of Fame

John Collins and wife Judy Collins were honored as Contributors in the Class of 2013. Creators of the Ironman Triathlon in 1978 in Hawaii, John and Judy Collins served as race directors of the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii in 1978-79. 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 U.S. 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.

[edit] Ironman History

During an awards presentation for the 1977 Oahu Perimeter Relay, John Collins, a Naval Officer stationed in Hawai'i, and his wife Judy Collins, who worked at the University of Hawai'i, decided to join three Oahu endurance events into one around-the-island triathlon. They made the formal announcement of the new event at the annual banquet of the Waikiki Swim Club. Swim the Waikiki Roughwater Swim (a minimum 2.4 miles), bike the Round the Island Bicycle Race course (for an estimated 112 miles), run the Honolulu Marathon course (26.2 miles). The triathlon would show who were the better athletes, swimmers or runners. The bicycle course would test both. They named their challenge event the Hawaiian Iron Man Triathlon. On 18 February 1978, 15 competitors, including John Collins, stood on the beach at Waikiki ready to take on the first-ever Ironman challenge.

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