86 year old inspiration: Hawaiian IronMan 2014


Sister Madonna Buder and Hawaiian Man 2014

The Hawaiian Ironman 2014 was completed on Sunday October 10th.

As another year flys past, the Triathlon world stops for one long day and watch’s the “main event” on the Big Island.

The Hawaiian ironman is the pinnacle event for the long distance athletes and no doubt on the bucket list for many people who can set aside 20 hours plus per week to train plus balancing family, work, and of course sleep.

The first race was in 1978 where 15 competitors completed the 3.8Km swim, 180km bike ride and finally the 42km marathon. The event was moved to Kona in 1981where there are now 1800 plus people competing every year. Its legendary status for being very warm around the 36C mark and the very strong cross breezes make it a enormous challenge to just finish.

One lady I would like to introduce is Sister Madonna Buder. Yes a religious sister who has a phenomenal record in triathlons. She has completed in 45 Ironman Triathlon’s and a total of over 325 mixed distances.

In 2006 she successfully competed the Hawaiian Ironman as a 75 year old.

Sister Madonna again set a new world record in the 2012 Ironman Canada and successfully completed the course in less than 17 hours as an 82 year old.

This year she unfortunately did not make the cut off time on the bike and was therefore unable to finish the event but I am sure she will still continue to compete next year.

In a recent interview Sister Madonna quoted, “you don’t think age and you just get up and do and you think you’re a teenager, well, you’ll start to act like one, and you also find out that you never get too old to learn new tricks.”

From a physiotherapy point of view she must be blessed with good genetics and obviously with the enormous training loads has an incredible constitution regarding her knees and hips and spine.  An inspiration to us all.