Sister Madonna Buderim, also known as ‘iron Sister’ was born in Missouri in the summer of 1930 though when she was young was keen on running or swimming, was certainly born with a determination worthy of envy, for it managed to break several records throughout life.
Madonna knew she wanted to become a nun when she was 14 and at 23 years old she has materialized the first call and became the nun in the Sisters of the Good Shepherd Monastery of St. Louis, according to the site triathloninspires.com.
In 1970 she left the congregation to which she belonged, to join other 38 sisters, with whom she founded a new less traditional community. As a member of the Christian community of the Sisters of non-canonical authority independent of the Roman Catholic Church, Buderim had the freedom to choose her own lifestyle. Two decades later, she found a second calling: running.
Sister Madonna was 48 years old when she started running for fun. ‘Father John told me that it will do well to mind and body,” she said.
Sister iron participated in her first triathlon in Banbridge, Ireland, when she was 52 years old.
‘I felt a tremendous amount of accomplishment after I finished the race; I was happy,’ said the Sister.
After finishing the ‘Ironman’ triathlon in Hawaii in 2005, at age 75, she broke the record for the oldest woman to complete the race. Then, the following year, she broke her own record, finishing the race an hour earlier than the previous year.
From 1982 onwards, the sister has gathered over 340 triathlons record 45 of the “Ironman” type (4 km swim, 180 km bike, 40 km run). In 1996, she completed an ‘Ironman’ competition in 14 hours, 27 minutes and 14 seconds – fast enough to break the record for the category participants aged between 65 and 69 years.
The sister came to fame after becoming the world record holder for the oldest woman to complete Ironman triathlon in Subaru Canada, on August 26, 2012, in 16 hours and 32 minutes. Sister Madonna broke a record held by Lew Hollander (81 years), who completed the Kona Ironman World Championship in 2011.
The new goal of the nun is to set the same record at the Ironman triathlons in Hawaii.