Lyn and John Sutherland’s son Aidan died after becoming ill from complications caused by his type 1 diabetes while out with friends in Newcastle to celebrate his 20th birthday.
The couple, who had never done any serious running before, decided to take on the challenge of the marathon in his honour, while raising money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
John explained: “Every year we used to lie in bed watching the runners doing the marathon and saying what a tremendous atmosphere there was and how great it would be to take part, so when all the fundraising started we decided we would try to run the marathon ourselves.
“We applied to JDRF and were accepted and began the training programme they sent us.”
The couple went down to London last Friday with nine family members to cheer them on at different points around the course.
And they say it was this support and the though of doing it for their son which kept them going during the hottest ever London Marathon.
John said: “I would see one of their faces pop out of the crowd and it gave me a real boost.
“When I was starting to flag at the half way point it was Aidan I spoke to to give me strength to keep going. There were some dark moments, but he spurred me on and he was with us every step of the way.”
Lin added: “There was no way I wasn’t going to get over that finish line – even if it was on my hands and knees! All I had in my head the whole way round was Aidan and that I was doing it for him.
“We both shed a few tears and it was very emotional, but we are so proud to have done it.”
John completed the course in 5 hours and 39 minutes, while Lin finished in 7 hours 38 minutes.
John said: “It was a remarkable, beautiful experience and I would like to do it again.”
The couple are planning more fundraising to install defibrillators at football pitches in local parks, as they discovered that Aidan had cardiomyopathy when his organs were being donated for tranplant.
Aidan’s sister Mherrin and her cousin are also planning to run next year’s London Marathon for JDRF.
To donate visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com – and search for John Lin Sutherland