(First published on GoodThingsGuy.com)
An amputee Comrades runner on crutches is inspiring South Africans with his strength and determination, after being photographed during the marathon
Amputee runner, Xolani Luvuno pursued his dream to complete the 2018 Comrades Marathon on crutches yesterday, and inspired millions while doing it.
The determined athlete completed the gruelling 90km race on crutches, refusing to give up his dream when his running blade let him down.
Luvuno was given five extra hours to complete the race
“It’s not a competition for me. I want to make sure I finish in time. It’s all about the experience,” Luvuno said.
South Africans got to know Luvuno in May last year after renowned South African and advocate for change, Yusuf Abramjee, spotted the runner and stopped to speak to him to find out why he was running with crutches.
“I’ve just spotted this runner in Centurion – he has bone marrow cancer. I salute his courage & will power.
“The man running with him was Hein Venter.
“Hein tells me he picked-up Xolani near a bridge in Irene a year ago. He was homeless and addicted to Nyope. Hein got him off drugs and gave him a job at his perfume company… and finally got him into running.
“Xolani lost his leg some 7/8 years ago because of bone marrow cancer (sic).”
— René Kalmer (@ReneKalmer) June 10, 2018
The single-minded athlete completed the race on crutches, just before 4.30pm
Luvuno had this to say at the finish line: “I wanted to make sure that I finish before cut-off time and my coach said to me don’t rush, because the Comrades Marathon is not 42km, it’s a big race. I want to say thank you to the supporters who cheered for me on the routes as well as the director of the Comrades Marathon for giving me this chance.”
Luvuno was supported along the route by many of his followers who cheered him on and loads of pics of him in action were circulated online:
What excuse do we have huh?
Huge RESPECT for this gentleman. Xolani Luvuno. 👏👊
We need more people like Hein Venter who helped Xolani overcome his drug habit and encouraged him to run.
— Tokelo Martin Mokhesi (@JustTeekay_) June 10, 2018
— Mbaliyezwe Ndlela (@mbali_ndlela) June 10, 2018
Xolani Luvuno 🙏 Sir, you are an absolute legend. This man embodies the true South African spirit and makes me so proud to call this rainbow nation my home 🇿🇦 #ComradesMarathon #Comrades2018 #ProudlySouthAfrican pic.twitter.com/End2LemSe6
— Priyanka (@Priyanka_g360) June 10, 2018
Xolani Luvuno finished the Comrades Marathon today. What’s your excuse.? pic.twitter.com/wgcKqHOfa5
— Pete Stephens (@pete_step_hens) June 10, 2018