The remarkable story of Xolani Luvuno

Xolani Luvuno caught the imagination of South Africans when they saw a one-legged man “running” the Comrades Marathon on crutches. Xolani is not an unfamiliar sight in Gauteng. When he crossed the line as the last man on the route of the MiWay Wally Hayward Marathon on 1 May in 5:22.30, the support he received on the finish line was as rapturous, if not more so, than that of the winner.


Xolani then took on the Ultimate Human Race, the Comrades Marathon. Organisors allowed him to start 6 hours before the start gun at 05h30 in morning. And just shy of 16:30, Xolani Luvuno crossed the finish line in the Moses Mabhida Stadium. On 13 October, Xolani decided to line up at the notoriously tough Voet of Africa Marathon. Now this is not your ‘regular’ marathon, in that the first 25km or so are off road, and runners need to go over the top of a mountain and to get there they need to run on difficult Jeep Track. This did not deter Xolani, and along with some 399 other runners he braved the race, finishing 316th in 6:03.21.

Xolani was a former drug addict and lost his leg to cancer. Yet here he is, taking on the toughest races in the country. A true inspiration.