Amputee Runner Completes Comrades Marathon with Crutches
26 July 2018
The Comrades Marathon—a 56-mile ultra in South Africa that is held every June—is one of the toughest races in the world, and one man completed it on crutches Sunday when he couldn’t use his running blade.
Xolani Luvuno, 33, was fi ve hours into the race when the rest of the fi eld started at 5:30 a.m. He had been granted additional time after a wound on his amputated right leg left him unable to utilize his running blade.
Race organizers granted him the additional time on the course, but said he would not be an offi cial participant of the race because it would take longer than the 12-hour cutoff time.
But just like he had overcome a lot in his life just to make it to this race, Luvuno was there to overcome the course. He did just that when he crossed the line in 15 hours, 50 minutes. According to news reports, the fi nish comes just two years after Luvuno was living under a bridge in the South African town of Pretoria. At the time, he was addicted to alcohol and nyaope, a drug cocktail common in South Africa derived from heroin.
In 2009, Luvuno was diagnosed with bone cancer and had his right leg amputated. It wasn’t until 2016 when he was found by Hans Venter, an Irene businessman, who helped Luvuno turn his life around.