Synopses & Reviews
SISTER MADONNA BUDER is 80 years old, has run more than 340 triathlons, and doesnand#8217;t know what all the fuss is about. In andlt;Iandgt;The Grace to Race, andlt;/Iandgt;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. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;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. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;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 Godand#8217;s natural world in all its splendor. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;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 75and#8211;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, 80and#8211;84, in 2010. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;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 lifeand#8217;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, and#8216;God, you know, my intent is to keep running toward you.and#8217;" andlt;BRandgt;andlt;Iandgt;andlt;BRandgt;The Grace to Race andlt;/Iandgt;is the courageous story of a woman who broke with convention, followed her heart, and found her higher mission.
"Sister Madonnaand#8217;s story is one of purpose, conviction and passion. She dismisses boundaries and proves to us that nothing is impossible. andlt;iandgt;The Grace to Raceandlt;/iandgt; is both inspirational and energizing; long live the Iron Nun!"andlt;BRandgt; and#8212;Dean Karnazes, andlt;iandgt;New York Timesandlt;/iandgt; bestselling author of andlt;iandgt;Ultramarathon Manandlt;/iandgt;
"Sister Madonnaand#8217;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 and#8216;race,and#8217; and keeping a sense of humor about it alland#8212;oh, and about running, too."andlt;BRandgt; and#8212;Father James Martin SJ, author of andlt;iandgt;The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everythingandlt;/iandgt;
"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."andlt;BRandgt; and#8212;Walter Bortz MD, author of andlt;iandgt;Aging for Dummiesandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Dare to Be 100andlt;/iandgt;, and andlt;iandgt;The Roadmap to 100andlt;/iandgt;
"Sister Madonna proves you can make records, and break them all over again, at any age. Her spirit is without limits."andlt;BRandgt; and#8212;Dara Torres, Olympic gold medalist and author of andlt;BRandgt;andlt;iandgt;Age Is Just a Numberandlt;/iandgt;
"andlt;iandgt;The Grace to Race andlt;/iandgt;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."andlt;BRandgt; and#8212;Mary Higgins Clark
The inspiring first-hand account of "the Iron Nun," a champion triathlete still competing at age 80, and of the harmony between body, mind, and soul.
About the Author
andlt;Bandgt;SISTER MADONNA BUDER, andlt;/Bandgt;also known as "theandnbsp;Iron Nun,"andnbsp; "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 andlt;iandgt;Runnerand#8217;s Worldandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;U.S. News andamp; World Report, Sports Illustrated, AARP Bulletin, USA Today, the Seattle Times, the Denver Post, Competitor Magazine, Triathlete Magazine, Ironman Magazine, More Magazine,andlt;/iandgt; and numerous others andnbsp;She lives in Washington Sate.andlt;Bandgt;KARIN EVANSandnbsp;andlt;/Bandgt;has been a writer and editor at many major national publications, including andlt;iandgt;Newsweekandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Outside, andlt;/iandgt;and andlt;iandgt;Health. andlt;/iandgt;Her writing has also appeared in such places as andlt;iandgt;More Magazineandlt;/iandgt;, the andlt;iandgt;Los Angeles Timesandlt;/iandgt; and the andlt;iandgt;New York Times. andlt;/iandgt;Her book, andlt;iandgt;The Lost Daughters of China andlt;/iandgt;(Tarcher, Penguin/Putnam, 2000) was a national bestseller. With Amy Tan, she co-authored the text for andlt;iandgt;Mei-Mei: Portraits from a Chinese Orphanageandlt;/iandgt; (Photographs by Richard Bowen, Chronicle Books, 2005).