She does it again! How special and inspiring it was in Penticton for the 30th and final Ironman Canada race to have a new world record set by the one and only Sister Madonna Buder aka the "Iron Nun". A great inspiration to those young and old...
At the 2012 Ironman Canada event, Buder became the oldest woman to ever finish an Ironman race when she crossed the finish line at 16:32:00. At the age of 82 she sets a new world record on the women's side. She might even be the world recorder holder for the oldest person in general to finish the grueling 140.6 mile race as it seems Lew Hollander has the oldest man to finish and Ironman at 81.
Her splits for the day consisted of a 1 hour - 36 minutes and 9 second Swim (2.4 miles), a 7 hour - 54 minutes and 15 second Bike (112 miles) which converts to roughly an average speed of 13.10 mph on the hilly bike course. She ends her night with a 6 hour - 41 minutes and 21 second Run (26.2 miles) for and overall time of 16:32:00.
Sister Madonna Buder also known as the "Iron Nun" is a Roman Catholic nun from Spokane, Washington. She started running at the age of 48 and competed in her first Ironman when she was 55. She has completed over 330 triathlons including countless Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events (30+). In 2005 at the Ironman World Championship race at age 75, she became the oldest woman ever to complete the race, finishing 1 hour before the 17-hour midnight cut-off time. In 2006 in Kona at age 76, she again became the oldest woman ever to complete the race, this time barely finishing under the 17 hour mark with a time 16:59:03.
In 2008, Sister Madonna participated in the Ironman Canada race held in Penticton, British Columbia. All day and at the end spectators cheered and encouraged her but this time she was unable to finish the race under the 17 hour cut-off, finishing in a time of 17:02:47.
In the Ironman community, a failure like that is painful but triggers that knee jerk reaction to try again and conquer the course another day. Fast forward a year... On August 30, 2009, Sister Madonna was back in Penticton and this time successfully completed Ironman Canada in a time of 16:54:30. The accomplishment broke her own record of being the oldest female to complete in an Ironman triathlon at the age of 79. At the time, Sister Madonna said that she would be back next year to be the first 80 year old woman to finish an Ironman.
In 2010, at the age of 80, Buder again was trying to challenge her self and set a new record but didn't get to complete her race in Penticton at Ironman Canada due to some wetsuit issues which might have contributed to not making the bike cut-off.
- Iron Nun Sister Madonna Buder's Book, The Grace to Race