Harriet Anderson

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By now, most of us have heard about the Ironman Championship in Hawaii. It’s the ultimate and most prestigious triathlon competition in the world, and one competitor is the ultimate triathlete.

But she’s not an Ironman. She is an Iron Woman. This year she made her 18th trip to Hawaii to compete in the grueling event. She won her age group for the 9th time, and at the age of 73, she was the oldest woman to finish the race, which consists of a 2.4-mile open-water swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run.

But wait until you hear the whole story. Harriet Anderson didn’t even start competing until she was 52. Now, she’s one of the best — and toughest — athletes in the event. In this year’s race, she had completed her swim and was little more than halfway through her bike ride when she was side-swiped by a fellow competitor.

Not only did she get up, she climbed back on her bike and rode 66 more miles to finish the race. Then, refusing to go to the medical tent, she put her arm in a sling and completed the marathon. Only later would she learn that she had broken her collarbone on the fall!

Find out what pushes this fearless warrior to push her body and spirit to the ultimate limits.