For most people, completing one endurance race would be enough for a single lifetime, but not if you’re one Xolani Luvuno.
Luvuno rose into the public consciousness when he completed the 2018 Comrades Marathon in June, almost a decade after losing his leg to cancer in 2009.
On that occasion, he finished just short of a medal placing, but an online petition ensured that he wore silverware on his neck after thousands of compatriots lobbied to have him awarded a medal.
This was after another gruelling test of his endurance, as he entered East London’s edition of Ironman in January 2018, and completing half the contest which consists of 180km cycling and 50km running, along with a swim of almost 4km – all of those on one leg in his case.
In April, he set his sights on going all the way, completing alongside mentor, Hein Venter in the full triathlon.
Watch Xolani Luvuno take part in Ironman in 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
Xolani’s remarkable story
The athete was in his early twenties when he was diagnosed with bone cancer, which resulted in him having his right leg amputated above the knee.
According to the Paul Steyn Foundation, the life-changing procedure saw him delve into a life of drugs, as he spent his days sleeping under a bridge, close to a spot where he spent his day-to-day routine begging.
This was until he met businessman Hein Venter, who roped him into his running club where he found a new lease of life, eventually completing the Comrades, and now with his sights on the Ironman.