Sister Madonna Buder is the oldest women to ever complete an Ironman Triathlon. In 2005, at the young age of 76, Buder completed the Hawaiian Ironman finishing with a time of 16:59:03. A few years later, in 2008, she participated in the Ironman race in Canada, but was unable to reach the finish line before the 17 hours cut-off limit. However, she didn’t stop there. A year later, she entered the race again and completed in a time of 16:54:30, this time breaking her own record of being the oldest female to complete an Ironman Triathlon at 79-years-old. Buder continued to compete in Ironman Triathlons for another four years, and in 2012 become the oldest Ironman Triathlon record holder at age 82.
Buder, who has been given the nickname Iron Nun, was introduced to running at age 48 by a priest that told her it would be good for her body and mind. When asked about her training routine, Buder stated she runs to church every day and bikes 40 miles to swim in a nearby lake. Regarding her diet, she eats mostly fruits and vegetables and adds carbs and protein powder to her meals.
She has broken national records and become a triathlon icon, sharing her passion for staying active with thousands. “We have all been given different talents. We have to dig deep to discover them and when we find them, we are obligated to use them for the greater good,” Buder said.
Sister Madona Buder is truly an inspiration to all women, no matter their age. On the Girls in the Game Triathlon Team, we hope to support both the next Madonna Buder and the ordinary young woman who simply sets out to break her own personal record. Maybe some of the girls on our team will find their passion for triathlons, use their talents for the greater good and break national records, too. And maybe some of them will use the skills they learn through competing in a triathlon, that grit, determination and teamwork, to push themselves to the next level in school or work. Whatever the case, at Girls in the Game we are dedicated to helping girls dig deep and recognize their full potential. So, will you join us and register a girl for our Triathlon Team? Let’s break down barriers together!