PHOENIX — Sister Madonna Buder's running career has earned her a few nicknames. Some call her "the Iron Nun," others "the Flying Nun," and perhaps the holiest sounding of them all, "the Mother Superior of Triathlon."
The 89-year-old Roman Catholic nun who lives in Washington State is a running inspiration and she will be in Anthem cheering on those completing the Tri for the Cure on Sunday.
Buder started running in 1978 when she was 48 years old. She hasn't stopped since, breaking stereotypes every step of the way.
"I think no matter who they are—nuns, priests, Buddhists—need to exercise because…we have to harmonize, mind, body and soul," Buder said.
In the past 40 some years, Buder says she has completed 390 triathlons to date. Additionally, the nun has earned seven world titles and six national titles in her age group various distances of triathlon and duathlon races.
“I don’t care about age, we all get inspired to do this, that and the other thing at different times in our lives," Buder said. "If you have a dream it becomes a desire and the desire becomes a sense of dedication. And if you are dedicated, you are willing to become disciplined. And if you are willing to become disciplined, you will find the determination to do it."
Sister Buder will be at the Tri for the Cure Sunday to cheer and greet the competitors at the finish line.