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Faith Sustains Elderly Nun Who Participates in Ironman Challenges

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2016 Aug 18
  • Comments

An 82-year-old nun has made history by becoming the the oldest person to complete an Ironman triathlon.

According to, Sister Madonna Buder completed an Ironman competition in 2014 in 16 hours and 32 minutes.

The grueling challenge includes swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, and running a marathon (26.2 miles).

Sister Buder has become an inspiration to many and has even been featured in a Nike ad on Unlimited Youth.

Sister Buder said she didn’t even begin running until she was 48 when her parish priest suggested it for her health. She now gives advice to others on lessons she has learned while competing in the Iron Man competitions.

“To change the world that you are in, give to the world what you have and serve the world with what or who you are. If that doesn't say what we're here for I don't know what does," she said.

"It means digging deep to learn who you are and what you can do. We are all given different talents and different skills and we can't use them until we discover them. So once you have discovered it, you are obligated to use those talents and skills for the greater good of your creator," she continued.

The competitions have not been easy for Sister Buder, despite her positive attitude, however. Oftentimes, she has to rely on her faith in God to get her through.

"All these decisions I'm having to take is a step out in faith. I have to say, 'Lord, please protect me.' Then it's ready or not, here I go," she said.


Photo courtesy:

Publication date: August 18, 2016