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Meet “The Iron Nun,” an 86-Year-Old Ironman Athlete

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Sister Madonna Buder has 45 Ironman Triathlons—which features a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a full marathon—under her belt. And while that's an impressive number in and of itself, here's the real jaw-dropper: She competed in her first Ironman at the age of 65.

Ten years later, Sister Madonna—who is a member of the Sisters for Christian Community order in Spokane, Washington—claimed the record for oldest woman to ever compete in the race. She ran the Boston Marathon in 2008 at the age of 78, clocking a respectable 4:42:41. Eight years after that, she got her own Nike commercial, which she recently admitted she has trouble wrapping her head around. “I’m still mystified by it. Why I could be the pick of the apples, I don’t know.”

She’s also a Senior Olympian, holding records in the 1 mile, 5 km, 5 mile, 800 meters, 1500 meters, 5000 meters, and 10,000 meters. By the way, she has no coach and uses no technology to aid her in her training—not even a watch.

And she's certainly no stranger to injury. Buder likes to joke that she’s a real Iron Woman, with a steel plate in one hip and pins and screws in both elbows. “My right arm has suffered six incidents. It’s a wonder it’s still hanging on,” she has said.

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But how does her triathlon training fit in with her spiritual training? She wasn’t always sure. In fact, when she started competing, she consulted her bishop about her unorthodox hobby. “'I wish more of my priests would do what you’re doing,'” she said his reply was.

Now, Sister Madonna says racing and religion go hand-in-hand. “I would probably be less effective sitting in the convent than I am now, being thrust into the public where I can influence people by example,” she says in her book The Grace to Race.

And, according the Olympian, that's not the only connection between her training and her spiritual life. "Heading to the finish line of the IRONMAN is like me getting to the pearly gates,” she told Ironman officials. “I think that is why I smile every time at the finish."

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Bowman Gum - Heritage Auctions, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
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11 Timeless Yogi Berra Quotes
Bowman Gum - Heritage Auctions, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
Bowman Gum - Heritage Auctions, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

The great Yogi Berra—a 10-time World Series champion and three-time MVP—was one of baseball's best catchers, but he's remembered just as much for his wit and wisdom as his Hall of Fame career. Here are some of the quotes attributed to Yogi (who was born on May 12, 1925), even if he didn't always say them first.

1. "Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't go to yours."

2. "The future ain't what it used to be." (Yogi later clarified, saying, "I just meant that times are different. Not necessarily better or worse, just different.")

3. "A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore."

4. "It ain't over 'til it's over."

5. "When you come to a fork in the road, take it." (See Quote Investigator)

6. "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." (See Quote Investigator)

7. "We have a good time together, even when we're not together."

8. "It's déjà vu all over again." (See Quote Investigator)

9. "Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical."

10. "I really didn't say everything I said."

11. "Then again, I might have said 'em, but you never know."

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Hate Running But Want to Feel Like a Winner? Try a 0.5K Run
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If you’re a non-runner who feels left out by the surging popularity of 5K and half-marathon races, Boerne, Texas has the race for you. Billed as a “running event for the rest of us,” the Boerne 0.5K is exactly what it sounds like: a very, very short race. The unique event, taking place in a town of 10,000 outside of San Antonio, covers just a little more than a third of a mile. And, as Mashable reports, it includes free beer and doughnuts.

The first annual charity event takes place on May 5, 2018 and is a fundraiser for Blessings in a Backpack, a Kentucky-based nonprofit that provides weekend meals to hungry children. Designed as a tongue-in-cheek response to typical 5K races, the extra-short run features a coffee and doughnut hydration station, just in case you get hungry midway through the race, and a free beer both before and after you run. “Join your fellow underachievers for a day (actually more like 10 minutes) of glory, celebration and participation trophies to raise money for a great organization,” the race website trumpets.

For a small fee, you can also get all of the trappings of racing without ever lacing up your shoes. For $50, VIPs can get the same swag the racers get, plus get the luxury of being shuttled the full 546 yards in a VW bus.

Understandably, this year’s roster is already full, but since the event’s organizers know that most people interested in the event aren’t necessarily committed to running, you can still get a T-shirt, participation medal, and bumper sticker for $25—no racing involved—here.

[h/t Mashable]

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