Meet the Iron Nun: 86-Year-Old Triathlon-Running Sister Madonna Buder Stars in New Nike Ad
Sister Madonna Buder has run an impressive 45 Ironman triathlons
Don’t ask 86-year-old Sister Madonna Buder to slow down – she won’t.
The nun is the star of Nike’s new “Unlimited Youth” ad, where she shows off her impressive athletic skills.
Narrated by Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ Oscar Isaac, the clip features Buder in her habit at church, on a morning run, swimming in open water, bicycling on mountainous terrain and taking part in an Ironman triathlon – she’s finished 45.
Despite Isaac’s increasing concern over how hard Buder is pushing herself, the sister keeps on going.
Eventually, after learning her “Iron Nun” nickname, Isaac contends, “Do your thing sister, do your thing.”
In behind-the-scenes video from the shoot, Buder reveals that she wasn’t introduced to running until age 47 or 48, when a priest suggested it.
“There was a point where I did not want to see a pair of running shoes, then triathlon came in,” she explains. “That was the salvation.”
RELATED VIDEO: Road to Rio: How Did Team USA Train for the Olympics?
Buder is the oldest woman to ever complete an Ironman triathlon, a feat she accomplished four years ago, according to Nike. The race requires participants to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run 26.2 miles – Buder holds the record for best finishing time in the 80 to 84 age group.
“There were a lot of times where I had to think about failures and not reaching the goal that I set for myself,” she said. “Then I realized, the only failure is not to try.”