2014-07-20

Praying, you can't go wrong there!

Saturday afternoon, bike check-in at the Laende in Hilpoltstein, agegroupers meet top athletes, rookies meet veterans, but there is one starter who fits in no category: Come Sunday, she will start like everyone else, swim 3,8 km, cycle 180 km and finish it off with a marathon. But she is 83 years old and bound for a world record. When Sister Madonna Buder finishes the race on Sunday, she will be in the Guiness Book of Records for being the oldest triathlete to ever finish a long-distance race.

Just a few feet away from the top athletes, she checks in her bike with the number 76. She is acompanied by Sister Gerda. As a „Homestay“ she has brought Sister Madonna from the USA to her convent in Zell near Hilpoltsteiner. „She is really mixing up the convent.“, tells Sister Gerda, who has acompanied the oldest starter of the DATEV Challenge Roth 2014 in the last days.

Sister Madonna has been a shooting star ever since arriving here. At the press conference or when fetching her documents, everywhere she goes, athletes ask for a photo with the famous nun, just like little kids. On Sunday even last year's winner Dirk Bockel wants to take a picture with Sister Madonna.

„How do you stay so fit?“ asks BAYERN 3host Bernd-Uwe Gutknecht at the „HIP Lounge“. „I've never smoked, just tried it once, didn't like it. And everything else, you just have to try it out.“ Actually Sister Madonna had already „retired“ from triathlon, but along came Felix Walchshöfer, a man you can't reject. And that's what caused Sister Madonna to do it again. And she thinks, Roth is a race you should have tried at least once because the course is magical.
Asked whether it bothers her that athletes pray for a race she answered: „ You can't go wrong with praying.“


Triathlon stars: 83year old Sister Madonna Buder and last years's winner Dirk Bockel at the bike check in on Saturday.
TEAMCHALLENGE, Christoph Raithel

 

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