SPOKANE, Wash. – You would think an ordinary woman in her 80s would be ready to settle down and rest, but Sister Madonna Buder is anything but ordinary.
At the age of 84, Sister Madonna was named the Ironman All World Athlete Champion for her age group on Wednesday.
An Ironman Triathlon is no small feat, with a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a full marathon, but Sister Madonna dominated the race.
The so-called "Iron Nun" has competed in close to 50 Ironmans and more than 325 triathlons all over the world. She was also recently inducted into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame.
Sister Madonna continues to compete in Ironman competitions despite her age, which forced the Ironman organization to create new age brackets to accommodate her.
When asked what she does to keep such impressive stamina and health, Sister Madonna said she has no health secrets.
"I live in my own skin, so to me it isn't anything unusual until I hear other people talking," said Sister Madonna.
Although Sister Madonna did not finish her October Ironman race, she was still awarded the AWA for her age group.
Racers were rewarded for their top three performances throughout the year with the combined points determining the champion for each division.
With all of her fantastic physical accomplishments, Sister Madonna doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
"The general public, I think, kind of uses me as a mascot for their races," said Sister Madonna.
Her perseverance, positive attitude, and refusal to bend to society's expectations will continue to be an inspiration for all of the Spokane community.