Richard Monisi had completed 13 Comrades Marathons and was a true inspiration to other runners around him, being blind he refused to give up. This loss if felt deeply!
Richard Monisi was tragically struck down in a hit and run accident, he is survived by his wife and two children as well as his inspirational legacy!
He was born blind but never let the disability rule his life! One day he was spotted begging outside of a shopping mall and an encounter with a stranger changed the course of his life forever. Gerald Fox‚ the founder of Rocky Road Runners saw him begging and commented on his runner’s physic. Gerald offered to support him which changed his life. Over the years he has competed in many road races and inspired those around him!
Richard was awarded the ‘Spirit of the Comrades Marathon’ in 2015 for being an inspiration to humanity! After completing his 13th Comrades with running mate and pilot Andrew Hall, Richard achieved the Bill Rowan Medal for a time of 8:38:51. He had this to say about the race,
“To run Comrades, my challenge was to prove just what we as blind runners can do. The other challenge is that we must not let ourselves down and we must show everyone that we can do it, just like a sighted person.”
“I think a lot more blind runners can run the Comrades and I think many more blind runners should set Comrades as a challenge for themselves.”
“I’m proud to be blind. We don’t run behind. We run out there, in front.”
Andrew Hall was devastated by the loss of his friend as are many other people within the running community and beyond.
To honour Richard’s memory his crowdfund was updated on BackaBuddy and in a matter of hours it has raised over thousands. The money will be used to support his wife Jane Mokone‚ who is also blind‚ and their two sons‚ one of whom can only see out of one eye.