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I'm running the London Marathon to make a difference to the RAF family

The RAF Benevolent Fund's Director of Welfare and Policy, Paul Hughesdon is taking part in the Virgin Money London Marathon this April to raise money for the Fund and for the RAF Association. Paul tells us more.

I've been lucky enough to have worked at the RAF Benevolent Fund for over four years and as Director of Welfare and Policy, I’m very privileged to set out how we can help those in need within the RAF family and then see the massive effect our programmes and support have. 

Paul HughesdonI understand how important it is to have caseworkers on the ground and to see the difference that the friendship and camaraderie of the RAF Association has on those who might have otherwise been left without support. But all this charitable work takes time, effort and money to deliver and both charities need more of it. 

So, I have decided to do something about it. What I am trying to do is to raise funds for both charities, combining my enthusiasm (if not aptitude) for running. So, using one of the RAF Association's places, I am now pounding the streets in preparation for what will be my second marathon. My first marathon was the Brighton Marathon in 2012.  

My training plan gets me just over the 400-mile mark. I’m more than half way through it now but with plenty of miles still ahead! 

Last weekend I ran 17 miles which was really enjoyable especially as the sun was out. That's not to say it wasn't still hard work but it's better to enjoy running in good weather rather than just grinding out the miles.

With only six weeks left, time is getting short so every weekend run counts; and every training session has a real purpose especially as I only have time to do three runs a week. I really hope to do well in the London Marathon and I want to raise lots of money for the RAF Benevolent Fund and the RAF Association. 

Any donation that you can make will really make a difference and help the charities in their welfare work. So, if you can, please donate here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/PaulHughesdon 

And what does success look like? Completing any marathon is a great outcome but I hope to beat my personal best of 3hrs 57mins by at least 12 minutes, if not more. 

Holding back in the early stages will be key, as well as eating all the gel and jelly that I can get my hands on to keep my energy levels high. I'm already visualising the finish line and the cold beer that awaits me! 

However, the ultimate prize is the knowledge that together the RAF Benevolent Fund and the RAF Association can continue to support the RAF family and that's something we can all share in. So please be generous and give any support you can whether small or large. Every pound will be used in our amazing and life-changing work. 

By Paul Hughesdon

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