Sr Madonna Buder, dubbed the Iron Nun, is the oldest woman ever to win a triathlon; now she has been inducted into the US Triathletes Hall of Fame, the Huffington Post reports.
After suffering a fractured pelvis during an early season bike training, Sister sat up in the middle of the road and did what she always does: talked to God: 'Lord, what are you doing this for?' she asked.
'I got this little answer: "Well, did you think that maybe I'm preserving you from something worse, even if it be yourself"?' Sr Madonna said, recounting the moment.
Known as 'the Iron Nun' for competing in the gruelling Ironman competitions, she is a member of the noncanonical Sisters for Christian Community and a frequent conversationalist with God.
She has been inducted into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame in Chicago, and at almost 84 years old (her birthday is July 24), she holds the world record for the oldest woman to ever finish an Ironman triathlon.
Sr Madonna first broke the record for the oldest woman to finish an Ironman at Ironman Canada in 2012. For two years, Sr Madonna had tried to open the 80-plus group for women. She had already opened several age groups for women in the Ironman distance and held other records before that, she said, but she wanted to take another shot at 80-plus.
'On the way up, I said, "Lord, either three times is the charm or three strikes and I'm out, no more of this Ironman business".' So he made the most perfect weather I think we had ever had. No excuse not to finish. Nothing went wrong with the bike or in the water.'
With total nonchalance and some giggles, she recounted when she broke the record.
'I finished and that's all I was concentrating on, getting the job done,' Sr Madonna said. 'But the announcer went crazy and the next day people were coming up to me, congratulating me on my world record. I said, "What? Oh, well yes, if no one (at 82) had ever done it before, I guess it is a world record".'
- Jo Miller, for RNS