Thandolukathixo (left in image) completed an epic 5km Great Eastern Run in Peterborough to raise vital funds for the RMBF.

About me

Hello! My name is Thandolukathixo Mkwananzi, and I am an aspiring medical student, currently in Year 13. I first heard of the RMBF through Medic Mentor’s virtual medical society. Learning of its mission and contribution to society greatly interested me. Having personally known a medical student whose studies were terminated due to the immense financial pressure, I was fascinated by how the RMBF’s sole purpose was to support students like these.

Being convinced this was a cause I wanted to advocate for, I immediately signed up.

Thando and her brother with their run medals on, both smiling

Why I chose running

I was determined to do something that would put me out of my comfort zone. Running had never been my favourite activity, but I was willing to give it a try. Initially, I had been planning to register for a 10k race in the summer of 2023. However, I sprained my ankle during a tennis match in late 2022, which left me on crutches for several weeks.

Despite this injury, I was determined to continue! After 8 months of recuperation, I decided to sign up for the Great Eastern Run in October. My parents kindly gave me the shoes, smartwatch, and gear I needed. Then I started training in late summer. Starting from covering just 1km a day, I gradually increased the distance until I reached my aim. Then I worked on changing my speed from tempo pace, initially 7:05 min/km, to 5:30 min/km. In Autumn, consistency became more difficult to maintain due to the unpleasant weather. However, running though the rain increased my physical and mental resilience, vital for being able to finish the race!

Race day

Start sign of the race

At last, the great day of the race arrived. I woke up at 6:30 for an 8:30 start, very nervous and freezing (1°C), but despite my fingers being attacked by frostbite, the race commenced. All was well, until I hit the last km. That’s when I was struggling!

Then all the life-changing work of the RMBF flooded my mind, and that was fuel to my fire. I had to complete this race for all the doctors and medical students depending on the RMBF.

Thando's race medal

Throughout the entire process, the RMBF provided much-needed encouragement and reassurance. Fundraising for the RMBF was extremely rewarding, and I am exceedingly grateful for this opportunity I had to make a difference in others’ lives.

Thank you Thandolukathixo for this amazing achievement and helping raise awareness and funds for doctors and medical students in need of support.

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