Sister Madonna

Sister Madonna – She Is The Running Nun

It’s unusual for a nun to compete in Ironman Triathlons; particularly when that nun is 84 years old. But Sister Madonna Buder is anything but conventional. She’s the oldest woman to ever finish an Ironman Triathlon at age 82, and last year was inducted into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame.

An Ironman Triathlon consists of a 3.86 km/2.4 mile swim, a 180.25 km/112 mile bike ride, and a full marathon (42.2 km/26.2 mile) run and Sister Madonna has competed in close to 45 Ironmans and more than 350 triathlons. As she gets older, and continues to compete, the Ironman organization has had to create new age brackets to accommodate her. She has 12 age-group victories at the Ironman World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii and has won dozens of national and world titles in Olympic-distance events. In February 2015 she was named the Ironman All World Athlete Champion for her age group.

Sister Madonna began running at 48 years old and competed in her first triathlon when she was 52, she turns 85 this year and is still running.

‘I don’t know what I’d do without running! I love the feeling I get when I whiz past people younger than me and they say, “I want to be like you when I get to your age!”‘

She sees her athletic pursuits as part of her ministry.

‘To change the world that you’re in, give the world what you have and serve the world with you who are you. We’re all given different talents and skills; you can’t use them till you discover them. Once you discover them you are obligated to use those talents and skills for the greater good of our Creator.’

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