desperate appeal for sponsors

KEEN RUNNER: Richard Monisi is seeking sponsorship to run the Two Oceans and Comrades marathons. © Unknown.
KEEN RUNNER: Richard Monisi is seeking sponsorship to run the Two Oceans and Comrades marathons. © Unknown.

Namhla Tshisela

Namhla Tshisela

Richard Monisi, of Riverlea in Johannesburg, has lost count of the marathons he has run in his illustrious nine-year career.

He has competed in South Africa and overseas and prides himself on successfully completing the New York City Marathon in 2003.

This was despite his late start as an athlete in 1998 and being partially sighted.

His favourite race, however, remains the Soweto Marathon.

Monisi, 39, won in the disabled category of the Soweto Marathon in 2005.

But his dream of running the Two Oceans and Comrades marathons in March and June respectively may not be fulfilled if he fails to secure sponsorship.

"Running locally is not such a big problem because I can manage to secure my own transport and accommodation.

"It is when I need to run out of Gauteng that I experience difficulties," he said.

He was previously sponsored by a major international sportswear company but the contract expired last year.

Monisi said a sponsor would also have to ensure that his leader Florence Munyei's needs were catered for during major events.

"I cannot run on my own. I need her to guide me and tell me what is in front of me," he said.

Munyei runs alongside Monisi and they keep pace with each other by means of a belt attached to their arms.

"Running with him makes me proud because he has a very good pace," said Munyei.

Munyei has also competed in various marathons and has a passion for cross-country running.

"I have been running since I was at school. I enjoy it," she said.

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