“I FEEL young and ready to conquer the world,” says amputee Xolani Luvuno, originally from the Eastern Cape, who is hard at work preparing for the Comrades Marathon- most popular marathon and an internationally recognised race.
Entering its 94 edition, this years’ race is a down run that begins from the Pietermaritzburg City Hall and finishes 12 hours later at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
Luvuno, a drug addict who used live under the Sunnyside-bridge in Pretoria, says he’s upbeat about the race.
During interview on the public broadcaster TV station’s, the toothgapped Luvuno says he has learnt the hardway and will use this opportunity to encourage kids not to follow in his footsteps but take a leaf from what he’s doing today despite his unfortunate condition.
A problem child from the EC, he was a robber and a thug that resulted in him being detained. Upon his release he had to skip the province to Pretoria as everyone was baying for his blood and friends.
He was shot on the leg because of his wayward behavior, and Doctors told he has contracted cancer thus he had to be amputated.
He was identified by a Hein Venter, whom at first thought was a problem child- always begging at one of the streets.
Unbeknown to him, both forged a close relationship and also helped him to see life differently.
The end story: Xolani has been motivated to train and flush out drugs out of his system and he’s a new person.
Thanks to Venter- a businessman- that today’s Xolani will be attempting an amputee record by competing in the Comrades Marathon, his first of many to come.
Yes, it may seem impossible until its done…
The Comrades Marathon attracts more than 21 000 athletes worldwide, and Tourism KZN says the province is ready to accommodate all those coming to KwaZulu-Natal for the event- the largest entry field since the millennium race.
It is anticipated to pump R700-million into the provincial economy pre and post the race.
“The race is the second biggest number entries we’ve have in history of the race. Roughly 20 thousands and will register to come through and get goodie bags and all of that roughly 19 thousands will start. As organisers we are working on 19 thousands,” says the excited but equally fatigued race director Rowyn James.
James also pointed that some sections of the route has been changed to accommodate the new finish line at the Moses Mabhida stadium.
Meanwhile, as part of public awareness the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) Mobile Office will be running the “Know your Traffic Fine Status” #Cava-i-status campaign at the Comrades Expo at the Durban Exhibition Centre from 7-9 June 2018.
The mobile customer information services are aimed at reaching out to road users and making them aware of the options they have under the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act.
RTIA also announced that it has taken up the branding rights of the Comrades Lead Bicycles.
The six cyclists, branded in customised RTIA cycling kit, will travel the 90.184km route together with the frontrunners; three will follow the Men’s Race while the other trio will keep pace with the Leading Women.
The Registrar of RTIA, Japh Chuwe says, “RTIA believes in partnering with key stakeholders such as the Comrades Marathon Association in a concerted effort to drive road safety programmes towards changing behavioural patterns on our roads. The RTIA calls upon all road users to obey the laws of the road so that we all experience a wonderful race for the 93rd time”.
This years’ theme ‘Asijiki’(no turning back) has indeed inspired the likes of Luvuno.