After losing his leg to cancer and overcoming drug addiction, Xolani Luvuno has been inspiring the nation by completing gruelling marathons using crutches.
Port Elizabeth, South Africa – Xolani Luvuno is an amputee runner who first caught the attention of the nation by completing the Comrades Marathon in 2018 and is now inspiring South Africans once again, this time during Ironman South Africa.
Xolani lost his leg after fighting bone marrow cancer. About 7 years after losing his leg to cancer, Xolani was living on the streets, addicted to Nyope. His running partner and coach, Hein Venter, took him off the streets, helped him get clean and introduced him to running.
He first came to the attention of South Africans when Yusuf Abramjee spotted him running the Wally Hayward Marathon in 2017. Armed with only his crutches and the determination to complete the race in order to qualify for Comrades, he inspired the country when he finished the run and then went on to complete the Comrades as well.
But he’s at it again and inspiring us all with his strength and determination! The inspirational athlete decided to take on Ironman South Africa, for which he had to learn to swim.
This event has been a favourite on the European race circuit for over a decade. The day begins with a one-lap, 3.8km swim course beginning on Hobie Beach. Athletes head out parallel from the pier and turning left after 300 meters. The route then goes past Humewood Beach all the way to Kings Beach before turning and heading back towards Hobie Beach.
During the race, Anja Ippach, the leading female professional athlete slowed down to acknowledge Xolani.
Watch the awesome video below:
When the leading female pro slows down to recognize you.Xolani Luvuno was fighting for his life when he lost his right leg to bone cancer in 2009. Today, he's going for his first-ever IRONMAN finish.
Posted by IRONMAN South Africa on Sunday, 7 April 2019
In case you missed it, we got to sit down and chat with Xolani in July shortly after the Comrades. You can listen to his interview here.