Comrades Runner Steals Child’s Toy

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jun. 6, 2013
  • Updated Jun. 6, 2013 at 10:04 AM UTC
A smiling Arman Moodlia holds up his replacement doll. Photo: iol News.

He won’t return the Mickey Mouse doll.

This news out of South Africa is absurd: According to a report on the iol News website, Comrades Marathon runner Tshokela Maphori snatched a child’s stuffed animal during the race and took it with him to the finish.

The Mickey Mouse doll belonged to five-year-old Arman Moodlia, who was watching the race on the sidelines.

Apparently, Maphori thought the doll was a good-luck charm and is refusing to give it back.

“He just took it from my hand and ran away,” Moodliar said on Tuesday. “I am going to find another big man to get it back for me and send him to jail. It is not nice to take something that does not belong to you.”

Moodliar said that the toy was a gift from his grandmother. He reportedly “howled and howled” for hours afterwards.

“It was my good luck charm,” said the 32-year-old runner of the doll. “I held the bear right through. He gave me the power to win [finish],” he said. “Now he sleeps right next to me in my bed. I like it too much. It is like having my very own baby.”

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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