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Cowbridge RAF veteran to take on Cardiff Half Marathon in wheelchair this weekend

Caption: Rob Bugden in his wheelchair. Credit Ollie Dixon.

Cowbridge local and former RAF parachute instructor Corporal Rob Bugden, 37, is completing his fifth marathon this year, for five charities, at the Cardiff Half Marathon on Sunday 1 October.

Rob, who is an ambassador for the RAF’s leading welfare charity, the RAF Benevolent Fund, will have completed all five marathons in his wheelchair.

The challenge is no mean feat for Rob, who was involved in a parachute accident whilst on exercise in California in 2016, which resulted in life-changing and career-ending injuries including a C5 spinal injury, leaving him tetraplegic.

However, Rob has remained determined throughout, originally hoping to raise £5,000 for his chosen charities, Rob has now surpassed £8000 and is aiming for £10,000 on completion. Rob has taken part in the Great Welsh Half Marathon (2nd April), The Great West Run (21st May), Swansea Half Marathon (11th June), Wales Half Marathon (2nd July) and, finally, the Cardiff Half Marathon (1st October).

All races are relatively local for Rob, who lives in Cowbridge in South Wales, but there’s also some personal significance, as the Cardiff Half Marathon in 2011 was the first one he ever ran, and he knew he wanted to finish the challenge with it.

The RAF Benevolent Fund has been there from the beginning for Rob, including funding travel costs for his family when Rob was hospitalised in America following his accident. The Fund then helped towards a much-needed respite break for Rob upon his return to the UK, and funded a fully adapted home which Rob has been living in for the last four years.

As well as the RAF Benevolent Fund, Rob will be raising money for the OppO Foundation, DMRC Benevolent Fund, Cakes for Casualties and Tough Enough to Care.

Rob said: “I’m raising money for these five charities as they have had a profound impact on my life since my accident in 2016. The RAF Benevolent Fund for example is an incredible charity – without it I would not be able to live independently and comfortably like I am now.”

He added: “These charities are not just there for the short term, they’re there for life. Every penny raised will go directly to them and will make a huge difference to people’s lives.”

You can donate to Rob’s fundraiser here.

The RAF Benevolent Fund provides financial, emotional, and practical assistance to serving and retired RAF personnel and their families. This includes grants to help with financial difficulty, mental health support, Airplay youth clubs, and more.