Father and son run in memory of baby

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A FATHER and son are tackling the London Marathon on April 22 in memory of a baby boy who died from cot death in 1980.

Martin Balmer lost his infant son Kevin at the age of just 14 weeks and is raising money for the Foundation for the Study of Infant Death (FSID).

This is the 54-year-old’s fifth consecutive marathon and this year he is being joined by his son John, 34, who was 16-months-old when Kevin died. They ran together last year in what was John’s first marathon.

Martin and John live in the family home in Hawthorn Close, Bury St Edmunds, and Martin is aiming to raise £2,500 to help the work of the charity but says this will probably be his last marathon.

The memory of Kevin is the one thing that spurs Martin on most to get round the 26.2 mile course.

He said: “That’s probably the biggest motivation. During the training as well. You think ‘why am I doing this’ when the alarm goes off at 6 o’clock on a dark January morning, and then you think what you are doing it for, and it makes sense.

“I’m fairly certain this will be my last marathon. I can’t do the training required any more. You can walk round if you want to but it’s not what it’s about – it’s about being satisfied with what you do.

“I just think perhaps the body and commitment you need is not quite what it was.

“It will probably be around five-and-a-half hours again. I don’t think a target comes into it. I just think the important thing is getting around and raising the money for the charity.”

“I am trying to get £2,500 again this year, together with John. If I do that I will have raised £20,000 in five years.”

Martin has also run the marathon in aid of the Stroke Association. Martin, who works as a duty manager at Sainsbury’s, in Haverhill, has been helped to raise £1,000 by colleagues.

The store ran several fund-raisers including a fashion show and bowling night.

To support the duo’s endeavour go to www.justgiving.com/fbbvlm2012