KAILUA-KONA — Ironman athletes Erin Baker and Scott Molina along with contributors Ken Baggs and Rocky Campbell were officially enshrined into the Ironman Hall of Fame this week at a reception on the grounds of Hulihee Palace.
“As we celebrate 40 years of Ironman, we have the opportunity to induct into the Ironman Hall of Fame athletes and contributors who have been instrumental to the evolution of this race,” said Andrew Messick, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ironman.
Campbell, a Kona resident, is one of the original and longest-tenured Ironman World Championship volunteers. For nearly 40 years, Campbell helped shape and showcase the importance of volunteerism to the success of Ironman. Serving as volunteer director for the last 33 years, Campbell first began as an aid-station volunteer before taking on roles with the swim course, construction, and action management.
“Ironman has been a huge part of my life for 40 years — and I thank you,” said Campbell.
Erin Baker is a two-time Ironman World Champion having won in 1987 and 1990 and took first in 104 of the 121 races she entered. In her career, Baker was impressive at every level, earning titles at the ITU World Championship, ITU Duathlon World Championship and Ironman World Championship. The New Zealander has been a champion of the sport and continues to be known as one of the best female triathletes of all time.
“Triathlon gave me such a great platform for the rest of my life,” said Baker in her induction speech. “It’s given me so many opportunities that a kid like me from a very normal place, in a little country, would not have otherwise had.”
Scott Molina was a member of the famed “Big Four” consisting of fellow athletes Dave Scott, Mark Allen and Scott Tinley, who dominated the racing through the 1980s and into the 90s. Molina won the 1988 Ironman World Championship and won the inaugural Ironman New Zealand in 1985, which was the first Ironman event to be held outside of Hawaii.
“The sport has been wonderful to me,” said Molina. “I never dreamed the first time I came here in 1981 that my life would be changed. Joining the names on the Hall of Fame list is a huge privilege.”
Ken Baggs was instrumental in the creation of Ironman in Australia, working in the region for 30 years (1984-2014). He was one of the original members of the organizing committee for the inaugural Ironman Australia race in 1985, becoming the race director in 1987. He also founded Ironman Western Australia and served as the race director for both races until 2012. Baggs is considered an integral part of the early team responsible for establishing rules, safety and operation procedures globally as Ironman was growing from a single race in Hawaii to events worldwide.
“I am honored to be in such unbelievably legendary company,” said Baggs. “I really am so privileged.”
Founded in 1993, the Ironman Hall of Fame was created to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the growth of the world’s most famous endurance race series. Baker, Molina, Baggs and Campbell join a prestigious list of remarkable individuals honored for what they have given to the sport of triathlon and Ironman both inside and outside of competition.