Meet The 'Iron Nun', An 86-Year-Old Triathlete Who Is Giving Us Serious Fitness Goals

'One step at a time makes a marathon.'

Next time you make an excuse to get our of exercising, think of Sister Madonna Buder.

The 86-year-old has earned the nickname ‘The Iron Nun’, having completed more than 40 Ironman races in the past 30 years.

She completed her first Ironman race - comprising of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run - in 1985, aged 65. At 75, she became the oldest woman to ever complete an Ironman triathlon. At 82, she set a world record as the oldest Ironman triathlon competitor.

Sister Buder
Nike Unlimited You
Sister Buder

Sister Buder first got into exercise after attending a workshop led by a priest who championed running as a way to harmonise the mind, body and soul.

But after seven years of running, she craved more and signed in her first triathlon, intrigued by the variety it offered. The rest, as they say, is history.

“There was a time when I didn’t want to see a pair of running shoes,” she said, reminiscing.

But she credits faith, listening to her body and maintaining a positive attitude to her physical endurance.

“You carry your attitude with you,” Sister Buder said. “You either achieve or you self-destruct. If you think positively, you can even turn a negative into a positive.”

“I realised the only failure is not to try, because your effort in itself is a success.”

Unlimited Youth” film is the latest instalment in the Nike “Unlimited” Campaign, the company’s recent series of athlete shorts and more, with more to come through the month of August, hails both the everyday athletes and the champion athletes who regularly push their limits — and who are poised to prove their unlimited potential this summer and beyond.

“Unlimited Youth” celebrates an extraordinary athlete, Sister Madonna Buder, and her determination to defy conventional conceptions of age.