88-Year-Old ‘Iron Nun’ Is a Triathlete Champion

By Web Staff

PHOENIX—Sister Madonna Buder is an 88-year-old roman catholic nun, but no ordinary nun, some call her the “iron nun!”

Sister Buder was the world’s oldest person to finish an Ironman Triathlon, which involves swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, and running 26.2 miles.

Buder didn’t start running until her late forties after a priest recommended it to her as a way to “harmonize the mind, body and soul.”

“He (the priest) started talking about running and how it gives you a high. And I said, ‘you know what? I thought we were supposed to get that in prayer?” the sister said.

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Sister Madonna Buder or “the iron nun.” She was the oldest athlete to complete in triathlons. (Screenshot/Fox News)

After starting to run for a few years, she didn’t compete in any triathlon. But wanted to show it’s never too late to find your passion.

She started competing at age 52 and completed her first triathlon and at age 55 her first Ironman.

But fast forward to 2019, she hasn’t completed just one or two triathlons—but a whopping 390 of them!

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At 82-years-old, she broke an Ironman record for the fastest finishing time in the 80-84 age group, a record that still stands today.

“Looking back on what I did, I said, ‘how in the world did you ever do that?’ I’m amazed because I thought nothing of it while I was doing it,” Buder said.

Sister Madonna has earned seven world titles and six national titles in her age group, she may have retired, but still keeps busy inspiring others.

In 2010 she released her autobiography, The Race to Grace: The Wisdom and Inspiration of the 80-Year-Old World Champion Triathlete Known as the Iron Nun.

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Sister Madonna Buder (L) or “the iron nun.” She was the oldest athlete to complete in triathlons. (Screenshot/Fox News)

Currently residing in Washington state, she made the trek to Arizona for the 2019 ‘tri the cure’ event in Anthem and she will be cheering on the competitors this weekend, knowing all too well the hard work it took to make it to the finish line.

“So, you have your ups and your downs, your lows and your highs. And, to me, it was just a progression of life. And I love to be out in mother nature, surrounded by her beauty,” sister Buder said.

In terms of how she fueled her body during training, she says she ate a lot of raw fruits, vegetables, garlic, and protein powder. Plus a healthy dose of the holy spirit!

People often ask her how her faith and spirituality impact her training and racing.

“When I answer this question, I often refer to ‘the five Ds,'” health magazine Prevention reported.

“First, you have to Dream about whatever it is you want to do to fire up the second ‘D,’ which is Desire. Then you need to acquire the Discipline and put forth the Dedication that will keep you Determined to do what you set out to do,” sister Buder said.

Sister Buder also said she is an early riser and never set an alarm clock. “I find it helps not to be jerked out of a dream by an alarm clock. If you wake up when your body is ready, it’s easier to start your day,” she said.

The Epoch Times reporter Lorenz Duchamps and Fox News contributed to this report.