Milwaukee; we were in Milwaukee

Seems so obvious now, right? It was in the photos and everything. And if you looked up the Roosevelt story, or tried to figure out that tree joke, you would have figured it out, or given up, in short order.

We were in Milwaukee for the USA Triathlon National Championships. The Yankee raced twice. On Saturday she competed in the Olympic distance triathlon, a 1,500-meter swim, a 25-mile bike ride and a 6.2-mile run. Here are a few quick clips, where she is rocking the bright kit of her sponsor, Team Zoot:

This was her third national championship event, and she finished just barely outside the top 100. Pretty great at a national championship level. (She was 33rd in the swim and 79th on the bike. In the nation!)

That was on Saturday. On Sunday, she competed in the sprint distance national triathlon, her fourth national championship event. This particular national championship was abbreviated a bit because of approaching weather. That just made it faster and more fun. A few more clips, and you’ll see her in her coach’s team kit, Dream Big.

In Sunday’s super-sprint she finished inside the top 100, and in her individual legs she was 34 in the water, 69th on the bike and 99th in the run. And she doesn’t even like the run.

Also, she had those surgeries, and these are second and third races she’s had while still recovering from those. (She just finished the official physical therapy about 45 minutes ago.) So, it was a successful weekend of racing. Quite impressive. A lot of fun. And it was all in Milwaukee.

Here are some photographs.

This is the pier at Discovery World where they started the race. On Saturday they did a mass start by age group. So if you were a male 25-29, you started at the same time as all the other guys in that bunch. On Sunday, because of the weather and the logistics, they did a self-seeded time trial start. Four people went in at a time based on their self-reported swim times. It is in no way official or make-or-break, but it has the benefit of being slower, which spreads out the field, particularly on the bike course. This was important on Sunday because they shrank that route in a concession to the weather, but they didn’t have fewer athletes. It’s all about spreading things out. And, theoretically, the staggered time trial start does that. Also you just watched people jump in the water for hours. Discovery World sounds pretty awesome. And the front of the building will be a banner here, soon.

Here, The Yankee is coming out of the water in the Saturday race. Barely off the ramp and already making muscle poses.

And her finish on Saturday.

Here’s a big from Sunday, where she is showing off one of the medals she won.

This is really cool. This is Madonna Buder, who is known in the sport as the Iron Nun. (Yep, she was a nun, and last year she crashed on a training ride and fractured her shoulder, collarbone, and got four fractures in a rib. Nun means the one thing, but the iron part of her nickname has several meanings.) She has opened six age groups for triathlons – meaning she was the oldest in the field each of those times, starting with 50 and over. She’s also the world’s oldest female Ironman finisher, a record she’s held since she was … 82! She’s done some 45 Ironman races.

Buder was smiling all weekend, constantly. She’s a celebrity. Everyone knows it, and they all think they know her. She’s probably met all the long timers. She did her first triathlon at 55. Yep, she has been doing this for 37 years, including those 45 full triathlons and some 350 more at shorter distances. This weekend, now a fresh 92 years young, she was doing the sprint at the national championships. She’s getting a little help up the ramp and hill from the swim, which an awful lot of people did. I also saw her heading out on the bike, and she was in perfect control.

You’re intrigued now, so here are some of videos.

She was in a Nike commercial a few years ago. One of the best Nike commercials of all time. Just watch it.

Here’s a brief interview she did in 2020.

And here’s a longform piece on her, from 2019.

Sunday, she ran, ran, across the finish line.

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