“It seemed un­fair that his life was taken so cru­elly. Richard had so much more in­spi­ra­tion to give.”

Runner's World South Africa - - Human Race -

and more anx­ious.

“Rich, bru,” I said. “What’s next? Is it even big­ger than this one? How much longer, man? You’ve done this 12 times, so I as­sume you know it all…”

Richard re­sponded with a chuckle: “I’m a blind man. I just run this thing. I don’t know what lies ahead. It’s your job to tell me.”

Richard and I had fun, we worked hard, and we clicked. We fin­ished the Com­rades strong (in a time of 8:38).

Per­haps the most poignant as­pect of our jour­ney on foot to Pi­eter­mar­itzburg was the plans Richard shared with me for his fu­ture. If the mem­bers of the run­ning world didn’t know Richard yet, they soon would, what with all he wanted to achieve.

Less than a week later, I re­ceived a phone call. Richard had been hit by a reck­less driver and killed, on his way to the mall.

I didn’t want to be­lieve, or ac­cept, the news. It just didn’t seem pos­si­ble. To me, Richard was in­vin­ci­ble. First I felt dev­as­tated and hurt, and then I be­gan to feel an­gry and up­set, be­cause it seemed un­fair that his life had been taken so cru­elly. Richard had so much more in­spi­ra­tion to give.

I man­aged to get some clo­sure when I said some words at Richard’s me­mo­rial ser­vice. Dur­ing the week lead­ing up to it, I got to know

ABOVE: Mon­isi had big plans for his fu­ture. As run­ners, we must make sure that his legacy lives on.

him even bet ter, through the many peo­ple who paid fond trib­utes.

Richard is a true in­spi­ra­tion, and his legacy de­serves to be kept alive; not only for the ben­e­fit of other dis­abled ath­letes, but for ev­ery South African who has to face ad­ver­sity.

Born blind, Richard was adamant his dis­abil­ity wouldn’t hold him back. His fam­ily adored him, his com­mu­nity looked up to him, and the run­ning com­mu­nity hero-wor­shipped him.

What was it like to be a blind man’s guide? I’m not sure how it is for oth­ers, but run­ning with Richard was a priv­i­lege. He will al­ways hold a spe­cial place in my heart, and I will make sure that his legacy lives on.

Rest in peace my friend and run­ning part­ner, Bra Rich!

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