Read The Grace to Race: The Wisdom and Inspiration of the 80-Year-Old World Champion Triathlete Known as the Iron Nun by Madonna Buder Karin Evans Online


SISTER MADONNA BUDER is 80 years old, has run more than 340 triathlons, and doesn’t know what all the fuss is about. In The Grace to Race, she shares the no-nonsense spirit and deep faith that inspired her extraordinary journey from a prominent St. Louis family to a Catholic Convent and finally to championship finish lines all over the world. As a beautiful young woman, shSISTER MADONNA BUDER is 80 years old, has run more than 340 triathlons, and doesn’t know what all the fuss is about. In The Grace to Race, she shares the no-nonsense spirit and deep faith that inspired her extraordinary journey from a prominent St. Louis family to a Catholic Convent and finally to championship finish lines all over the world. As a beautiful young woman, she became an elegant equestrian and accomplished amateur actress. But as she describes in this intimate memoir, she had a secret plan as early as 14: she wanted to devote her life to God. After being courted by the most eligible bachelors in her hometown, she chose a different path and became a Sister of the Good Shepherd. She lived a mostly cloistered life as a Nun until her late forties, when a Priest suggested she take a run on the beach. She dug up a pair of shorts in a pile of donated clothes, found a pair of second-hand tennis shoes, and had a second epiphany. This time, she discovered the spiritual joy of pushing her body to the limit and of seeing God’s natural world in all its splendor. More than thirty years later, she is known as the Iron Nun for all the triathlons she has won. Just five years ago, the age 75–79 category was created for her at the Hawaiian Ironman in Kona, where she completed a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a full 26.2-mile marathon in record time. Now she has set her sights on a new goal: inaugurating another new Ironman age group, 80–84, in 2010. Sister Madonna holds dozens of records, has broken dozens of bones, and tells of dozens of miracles and angels that propelled her to a far-flung race. "It is my faith that has carried me through life’s ups and downs," she writes. "Whenever injured, I wait for the Lord to pick me up again and set me on my feet, confidently reminding Him, ‘God, you know, my intent is to keep running toward you.’" The Grace to Race is the courageous story of a woman who broke with convention, followed her heart, and found her higher mission....

Title : The Grace to Race: The Wisdom and Inspiration of the 80-Year-Old World Champion Triathlete Known as the Iron Nun
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781439177501
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Grace to Race: The Wisdom and Inspiration of the 80-Year-Old World Champion Triathlete Known as the Iron Nun Reviews

  • Pennylope
    2019-02-25 11:02

    I'm torn about this book. I've always been awed by Sister Buder. She is an amazing athlete and I can only hope to still be competing at her age (because honestly that's likely the only way I'll qualify for Kona). And then I find out that she is an alum of my alma mater, and u like her even more! But, this book left me with a bad taste in my mouth. A big part of it is that 95% of the triathlon stories that she tells end with "and then I ended up in the hospital with steel plates in my [x,y,z body part]." Even the unluckiest person could not have as many bicycle accidents as she does. It's clear from her tales of her earlier days that she is just incredibly reckless under the guise of "god will protect me." (Eg: "Oh, i was climbing a 14-er in loafers and shorts and almost died but god helped! haha."). Reckless cyclists make it dangerous for everyone out there and give cyclists a bad name. She seemed so flippant about all these "I almost died, but god saved me, heehee. I'm so silly and daring, how cute." I had trouble stomaching it. Having known ppl who died or who were seriously injured by bicycle accidents, that kind of recklessness is neither cute nor funny.

  • Kristi
    2019-03-02 13:14

    I always feel privileged to read someone’s memoir. I admire their courage to share their inner feelings and details of their lives. Sister Madonna is an enjoyable character! Her faith is more the size of a mountain than a mustard seed and I loved reading about the ways she let her love of God go forth and shine every day of her life! She no doubt gets her perseverance, determination and ability to conquer physical and mental pain from God. And she gives all the glory to Him. She maintains a sharp sense of humor throughout her many ups and downs. I loved how she found her purpose in life through physical exertion and uniting her personal sufferings to those of Jesus Christ on the cross. She is an example of the strength of the human spirit and how God provides when you just let it all go and trust in Him. Easier said then done at times, but if Sister Madonna can do it during more than 340 Triathlons, I too can do it more in my every day life.

  • Christy
    2019-03-17 05:57

    This book is a must-read for anyone inspired by Sister Madonna's amazing story. She is now in her 80s and just finished another Ironman! However, it is ghostwritten and poorly edited ("aerobars" is spelled as "arrowbars" throughout). I still recommend it for endurance athletes and those who think they are too old to start running or competing in triathlons. Sister started running in her late 40s and is still at it many decades later!

  • Taylor M.
    2019-03-04 11:53

    Inspiring for so many different reasons! Any athlete or runner must read - or if you're considering a new workout regiment.

  • Jess
    2019-02-25 10:05

    I kind of wanted more from this, but I'm not sure what I was expecting. It was an interesting account of a life that requires an strength of will that is difficult for me to imagine (in both being a nun and a triathlete). This woman has had so many injuries, it's hard to believe she's still competing, regardless of her age. The fact that she is still doing this into her 80s is amazing. And it seems that it truly is her unwavering faith that allows her to live this way and achieve what she has.

  • Jean
    2019-03-10 11:05

    This was a great, inspiring read. It's inspiring even if you don't swim, bike, or run.

  • Mihaela
    2019-03-13 13:52

    Loved it! :)

  • Terzah
    2019-03-15 05:53

    My book club recently read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, a media sensation of a memoir by a woman who sought to raise her two daughters "the Chinese way" (which as far as I could tell consisted mostly of spending lots of money on forced music lessons, practice, instruments and music-related travel, and no tolerance for much in the way of social activities). While I was in the bookstore buying it, I saw another book that I couldn't resist purchasing as well: The Grace to Race: The Wisdom and Inspiration of the 80-Year-Old World Champion Triathlete Known as the Iron Nun.Put the Tiger Mother and the Iron Nun head to head and I know who would come out on top! Sister Madonna Buder started running at age 48, qualified for Boston very quickly with a time of 3 hours 29 minutes and change (the standard for women over 40 at the time was 3 hours 30 minutes) and began competing in triathlons soon after that. She set several records for older age-group women in the Ironman distance and is still racing today, at 80, though it sounds like she has stomach issues.Her book also details a penchant for close calls, travel scares and accidents. I could have done with fewer details about these, as well as fewer accounts of races. I say, when you've been through as much as Sister has, pick a few key races and harrowing incidents and really flesh them out. Whether they ended well or badly, we will learn more from a few well told than too many told in tedious chronological order.I did enjoy the expected but still uncanny role that God has played in her decision to compete and persevere. Many athletes chant mantras when the going gets tough. Sister Madonna's have to do with praising God and praying for other people. Her list of reflections is a good tip list for anyone undertaking a tough goal. And I also liked how, even though she is a nun, it's clear that she can be prickly, opinionated and in the heat of competition even irritable--just like any other high-strung athlete (and make no mistake, this late bloomer is talented).

  • Ro Laberee
    2019-03-03 11:58

    I picked up this book after seeing a video on Facebook about this 80-something nun who did over 300 triathlons and many IronMan competitions. OK, I had to bite. How? How does someone with this many decades under her belt keep putting one foot in front of the other for hours on end? So I read it. (This can be done in just a couple of hours.) While Sister Madonna is someone you will quickly put on your "I gotta meet her one day" list, the book itself is not well-organized or well-written. I felt like I needed a motion discomfort bag just from the mish-mash of dates and time periods. I like linear. This book is not linear. It reads like a stream-of-consciousness essay.Then there are the details of her many mishaps. (It truly is a miracle that this woman is still alive.) She has been hit by cars (frequently!!) and, through what seems like a combination of bad judgment and poor planning, she has survived more physical blunders and collisions than most of the people I know ..... added up together!Finally, I hoped to have some useful take-aways. What is her diet like? Mediocre, it turns out. Well, how about her carefully engineered training program? There isn't one. She wings it, apparently.The woman's faith and spirit are the stuff of legends. She is a character. I really would love to spend an afternoon with her. I just did not get the athletic inspiration I was seeking from the book.

  • Grzegorz
    2019-02-23 13:46

    Dosyć nietypowa książka poświęcona triathlonistce w bardzo podeszłym wieku i do tego będącej zakonnicą. Jednak właśnie ta nietypowość była czymś co mnie fascynowało i kusiło do jej przeczytania. Zdecydowanie był to miło spędzony czas i zdecydowanie poczułem się zaisnpirowany jej historią. Jeśli pomyślimy, że kobieta w wieku 80 lat robi Ironmana to jak można się nie zmobilizować do ruszenia tyłka z kanapy? Dla przypomnienia to 3.86km pływania, 180km rowerem i 42.195km biegu. To co mnie najbardziej zaszokowało,a czego tu nie zdradzę to metody treningowe tej pani które mieszczą się na niecałej połowie strony. Niestety był też mniej fajny etap w tej książce który mi zdecydowanie nie szedł. Był to opis jej życia czyli jakieś pierwsze 100 stron, ale potem się rozkręca i jest dobrze. Przy czym zastrzegam, że dla kogoś innego ten początek tez może być ciekawy. Jak najbardziej polecam tę książkę.

  • Sherri
    2019-03-05 11:12

    This was written in 2010 and Sister Madonna is still doing races and going strong. She has a rather patronizing Nike commercial too. For the curious, her name is Sister Mary Madonna, the Madonna was added when she took her vows. Although this is a biography about her religious calling and spiritual life the main interest is in her athletic career, her adventures, injuries, and setbacks as well triumphs.Her training methods are casual and intense. She doesn't train with a coach and her time between races is as little as a week. She also points out the good and bad aspects of competition, from support from other athletes to the sneaky and dirty tricks some competitors use. Such as the anecdote about the woman who hung onto a 70 year old woman to qualify for an Ironman during the swimming portion and got blasted by her. One does not mess with the Iron Nun.

  • Rachel
    2019-03-22 11:57

    Sister Madonna Buder is an inspiration with her courage, devotion and simplicity of her life. The book is inspiring and definitely opens a small window into the life of a triathlete and how it consumes them. I found the writing style to be somewhat all over the board with lack of sequence to the events, but also wonderful to read in it's simplicity and honesty as well. Maybe I don't understand the complexity of being a triathlete and the intensity of it, but I found some of the things that Sister Madonna put herself through to be ridiculous. All of her injuries, her lack of experience, not educating herself about what she was becoming involved in seemed very naive to me. While I found her inspiring, I also found her naivety somewhat insulting, especially after she's been doing this for so long. Still a good read though.

  • Mary Ward
    2019-03-16 12:12

    I read this book while training for and completing my second Ironman. One the one hand I love Sister Madonna's philosophy on aging. She is a force to be reckoned with, and her compassion for her fellow athletes is beautiful. I am not a religious person and had difficultly relating to her faith. She always puts her well being into the hands of God, and the plan doesn't seem to work too well. She suffers an unbelievable number of difficulties and injuries. Her perseverance is inspiring, but one has to wonder if a little more common sense might have done her more good than a prayer. Either way, this is an interesting book that deserves a read.

  • Jill Myers
    2019-03-03 05:56

    Another inspiring read from my "Sports/Running" book stash! Sister Madonna Buder started running at the age of 52 and by her 80th year had completed 340 Triathlons (45 were Ironman competitions which is a 2.5 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, 26.2 run all performed in less then 17 consecutive hours). Sister Madonna is living proof that it's never too late to become an athlete and an inspiration. She is the embodiment of a line from "The Little Prince"..."Once you have discovered a gift it is your responsibility to use it'". Amen to that!

  • Peggy
    2019-03-19 14:11

    Sister Madonna is my friend Lane's Aunt Dorothy. I only met her once briefly at Dolph's funeral and was not aware of what an outstanding athlete she was then and is now. I enjoyed the chapter "In the Beginning" where she talks about growing up in St. Louis. The pictures she has are just of herself, I was hoping for some family portraits. I would love to see a picture of her brother Gus (G.A. Buder, III and Lane's Dad) as a teen or young man, the most handsome guy I've ever met. The rest of the book, although well written, is too "loving jesus-ish" for me.

  • Megan
    2019-03-01 10:08

    Sister Madonna is truly an inspiration to people like me who wonder, "Can I really sustain this crazy running thing as I get older?" The answer is YES! Sister Madonna didn't even start running until she was 48, and is going strong into her 80s.Besides her running adventures, the book talks quite a bit about her early life, her decision to become a nun, and some of the challenges that have come with her life dedicated to the church. She is an interesting woman even without taking her racing into account. I'm glad I found this one at my library!

  • Jan
    2019-03-10 11:45

    I am very impressed with the stamina of this woman. Her love for God and mankind and her will to succeed at everything physical is amazing. She just spoke at our church, she is from Spokane Washington and I missed her but today I am half way through with the book yet I ordered it so others can read it. She is 80 years old and has run 340 triatholns and lots of Ironman races, She keeps pushing the age brackets upward. One amazing woman,

  • Beth
    2019-02-26 11:11

    While I think Sister Madonna is an awesome athlete and an inspiration, eventually it did begin reading like a laundry list of injuries and the angels that helped her. I'm not sure how it could have been composed differently, but just be prepared. She also jumps around a lot from year to year.Still, it's fascinating to read about someone who has done and continues to do what she does! it *almost* makes me want to consider a Tri. ALMOST.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-03-15 10:58

    I love an inspirational memoir and Sister Madonna writes a top notch one. She is relentlessly chipper and matter of fact. Usually the sports for God thing would be uncomfortable for me but she clearly believes it and it comes from this pure and clean place. My faith system is so different and yet I came away thinking maybe God does want this little nun to keep doing Ironman.Sister Madonna is delightful and I am thankful she wrote this all down.

  • Marcella
    2019-03-07 06:51

    This is definitely one of those if you start feeling sorry yourself pull this book out and read it again stories; you'll quickly come to your senses. I also liked the time spent on her back story detailing what lead her to become a nun. As a book, it's okay but as a person she gets five stars for just being brave enough to compete in iron man competitions.

  • Rebecca
    2019-03-11 05:47

    Sister Madonna's positive attitude carries through the entire book, through the loss of family members and friends to the multiple injuries she suffers while training or racing. Her story is inspiring, and while she imparts some wisdom, I was hoping for more of that and less of the blow-by-blow when it came to her races. Still, it was an enjoyable read.

  • Ang Nardella
    2019-03-13 13:02

    I enjoyed this book but found it more repetitive than I would have liked. I agree with a previous reviewer that much of her need to be saved by god was due to a complete lack of common sense. She's an amazing woman in all she has accomplished but with a lot of her recklessness she's really lucky to be alive!

  • Noelle
    2019-03-01 13:52

    Enjoyed this book and was certainly inspired by the attitude that age really means nothing. Challenge yourself and move forward. “I found peace in the realization that if God gives you a talent, He expects you to use it. You don’t need to apologize for His gifts, only for neglecting them. you are honoring your Creator by making use of them. Not doing so would insult his generosity.”

  • Shaun
    2019-02-24 05:45

    This is an inspiring memoir about a nun, Sister Madonna Buder, who in her late 40s discovered running and ran the Boston and other marathons. She then got into triathlons and has done many Ironman triathlons (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run). She is amazing and inspiring. She's 80 now and still competing in triathlons. I'd love to follow her example.

  • Sue
    2019-02-21 12:48

    Good book. What I'll remember the most is how she relied on God through everything. She gives so many examples of when God came to her rescue. It's a great reminder to leave everything in God's hands and know He will come through!

  • Linda
    2019-03-08 12:08

    I actually know Sister Madonna because my mom is a triathlete so I enjoyed reading about her life. I can't believe all of the accidents and injuries that she has lived through...God must be watching out for her!

  • Eyvonne
    2019-03-12 09:49

    Very motivational

  • Julianne Hyma
    2019-03-04 08:09

    Very inspiring! Sister Madonna's story both strengthens my faith and motivates me to go further in the areas in my life that seem difficult. I hope to make it to the Ironman level one day as well.

  • Angie
    2019-02-24 12:48

    Amazing and inspiring woman!

  • Deb Martin
    2019-03-21 05:56

    Really 2.5 stars. Interesting person but just an Ok book. The last few pages of her reflections were 4 stars. The rest not really a page turner.