Sister Madonna Buder, a well-known triathlete who has competed in Penticton for many years — first in Ironman and then in Challenge — is featured in a new commercial from Nike.
Buder last competed in Penticton in 2014 when she took on the half-distance of the Challenge as part of the Pioneers relay team. She had turned 84 that year, just four days after competing in Challenge Roth.
“I just cannot get over it. I’m still dreaming about it after almost four weeks now,” said Buder in an interview with the Western News in 2014. “I have never seen such an explosion of energy and enthusiasm in my entire life, and that is saying a lot when you get to be my age.”
Buder, who is from Spokane, Washington, competed in the full iron distance after suffering a fractured pelvis four months prior. With everything that Challenge Roth had planned for her, Buder didn’t want to disappoint by backing out.
“I have never had such attention in my entire life. They thought of every detail for my protection,” she said.
During the bike portion Buder joked that the “paparazzi found me anyhow.”
Buder couldn’t complete the distance and was picked up by crew so she wouldn’t miss the fireworks show in the stadium. Buder was the talk of the event.
“I’ve seen some beauties, especially in Penticton. This was absolutely spectacular,” she said of the fireworks. “They spent over $130,000 on them. You think that was the grande finale, but it wasn’t. It was a standing ovation. I didn’t even run around the edge because of the high fives I had to honour.
“It was so exciting,” continued Buder. “I felt a little guilty that I got so much attention. Almost more than the pros. They are the ones that work so hard.”