Heroism: Last runner tells of his struggle with heroin

2009-05-25 00:00

JERRY Mboweni, the last man to complete the Comrades Marathon before the cut-off time, was once a heroin addict.

Mboweni, who runs for the Gugulethu Athletics Club, said he wanted to give up many times along the route, but was motivated by the love of his Creator.

Still shaking after flying over the finish line, Mboweni, who completed his first Comrades, said it was difficult to explain how he got the strength to keep going.

“When I gave up heroin, I made a promise that I would do the Comrades. While running I kept thinking that I would not make it. Then I heard a voice. The Lord said that I must keep going,” the runner said.

This month will mark five years since Mboweni gave up heroin.

“It was not easy but I was determined to do it. Today I’m a proud man. I have had a tough life, but today I can celebrate this win,” he said.

Mboweni’s wife, Vanessa, was at the finish and burst into tears as he walked towards her. “My wife has played a big role in motivating me. I want to thank her too.” He said he’ll be back next year.

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