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The Grace to Race: The Wisdom and Inspiration of the 80-Year-Old World Champion Triathlete Known as the Iron Nun Hardcover – October 5, 2010
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"Sister Madonna’s story is one of purpose, conviction and passion. She dismisses boundaries and proves to us that nothing is impossible. The Grace to Race is both inspirational and energizing; long live the Iron Nun!"
—Dean Karnazes, New York Times bestselling author of Ultramarathon Man
"The Grace to Race is inspiring and funny. The story of this now-80-year-old nun will make you want to push your body to the limit as you learn to appreciate the miracle and splendor of Creation."
—Mary Higgins Clark
"Sister Madonna’s courage and wisdom shine through the pages of this warm, funny and inspirational memoir. You'll learn a lot about finding joy, achieving your goals, facing hardships, loving God and the rest of those in the human ‘race,’ and keeping a sense of humor about it all—oh, and about running, too."
—Father James Martin SJ, author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything
"Sister Madonna is a genuine heroine, a person whose example we badly need. Not everyone is going to do a triathlon, of course, or even aspire to a marathon. But just getting out and moving can do wonders, and she's a beacon of hope."
—Walter Bortz MD, author of Aging for Dummies, Dare to Be 100, and The Roadmap to 100
"Sister Madonna proves you can make records, and break them all over again, at any age. Her spirit is without limits."
—Dara Torres, Olympic gold medalist and author of
Age Is Just a Number
About the Author
SISTER MADONNA BUDER, also known as "the Iron Nun," "the Flying Nun," and "the Mother Superior of Triathlon," is a Roman Catholic nun. She began running in 1978 at age 48. As of 2009, has completed 38 marathons and 325 triathlons. An inspiration to athletes and non-athletes, the religious and the secular, she has appeared in such publications as Runner’s World, U.S. News & World Report, Sports Illustrated, AARP Bulletin, USA Today, the Seattle Times, the Denver Post, Competitor Magazine, Triathlete Magazine, Ironman Magazine, More Magazine, and numerous others She lives in Washington Sate.
Top customer reviews
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Hmmm...I was reminded of a visit with my 75 year old aunt who talked about herself
(in a Wonderful glorious way) and I sat and listened for 6 hours.
Trust me when I say: Kona and the Queen K highway is HOT and unforgiving.
There is no shade, it's you, the heat and the desert. What she has done (repeat.repeat.repeat races)
IS incredible for a Normal person, but for someone her age is AMAZING.
I've watched 3 Ironman World Championships in Kona and was exhausted just from the
heat and I wasn't competing!
The fact that her family had money and her fees are "comped" does NOT get her to the
finish line. We've all seen that rich people don't become perfect~ but, she put in the
hard work to get to where she is now. Who cares that her fees/travel is paid for?
In Oct, 2003: My husband and I spend a "hard" day watching the Ironman race, having drinks
and dinner and wandered the dark streets to the IM finish line to cheer on the triathletes in Kona.
In the dark, here came Sister Madonna, alone, jogging the last 2-3 miles. We were side by side,
me: full of dinner and wine, tired from the day, and Sister Madonna, up since 4 AM, working the race for
15+ hours....We cheered her on in the darkness and it sort of got to me~ The Irony of that incredible
and ~~humbling moment. I felt like: Wow, why can't I be like HER? I felt like a failure.
I was 42 (overweight, out of shape) and she was maybe 73? (my math might be off, but you see what I'm saying)
Sister Madonna "works out" with me as I train for my first half marathon. She has give me some good advice! :)
She says, "patience" and "one mile at a time". Not sure it's her or Her Master!
Love this book as a triathlete and a Catholic. While she is amazing, the book is not. It is disjointed, repetitive, and just poorly written. I thought it was odd that she talks about her brothers but never mentions their names. As another reviewer wrote, I think it's a little irritating that she comes into things unprepared and relies on the help of benefactors and kind hearted strangers who are her "angels." One line that really irked me was that she has no Sherpa while men who are competing often have their wives be Sherpas. Yuck. That seems a little old fashioned. And believe me Sister, a lot of us race without "Sherpas." I also thought her accusing another competitor of sabotaging her bike was weird. She is inspiring, but the book, whether through its poor storytelling or disjointed layout, left me feeling uninspired.
Her success hasn't come without trials and tribulations.
Some parts of the book are a little slow but some chapters are particularly good and it's worth reading the book to truly understand her journey.
I hope I have the privilege to meet her one day.
She seems like the energizer bunny who takes lickings and comes back for more--a true athlete.