Claire Lomas aims to make PB walking the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon
An athlete who is paralysed from the chest down has set sights on her next challenge – smashing her target at the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon.
Claire Lomas, who was severely injured in a freak horse riding accident in 2007, has been inspiring others and raising funds for spinal cord research since.
Claire will be taking part in her second marathon in April. Using a special robotic suit, Claire is scheduled to start the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon on 8 April and race organisers Xtra Mile Events are planning a significant reception to cheer her on as she crosses the finish line.
Claire said: “This year my huge challenge is walking the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon.
“I use a robotic suit. It moves my legs by me tilting my weight for every step but I can’t feel the ground beneath me. I use the parts of my body that aren’t paralysed to move my weight. It doesn’t just walk for me, it waits for my instruction.
“It is very challenging mentally and physically for me, but I am ready to take on the challenge and hopefully raise lots of money to help others in the future.”
Offering support for fellow runners at the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon, she said:
“Never think you can’t do it because you will reach the finish. And it is the best feeling.
“No matter how slow you are it doesn’t matter. Nothing is going to get in my way so make sure nothing is going to get into yours.”
Her next fundraising target at the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation is £10,000 – adding to the £620,000 she has already raised for charity since she began a series of extraordinary feats of physical endurance.
In 2012, she walked the London Marathon. Her efforts were not recognised by race officials, but following her 17-day challenge to finish the course 14 participants gave her their finishers medals as she completed the task.
Subsequent to this, Claire completed a 400-mile hand-cycle around England taking in a series of school visits along the way. In 2016, she completed the Great North Run half marathon in five days while she was 16-weeks pregnant with her second daughter. Last year, she completed a ten mile challenge - #10in24 - at the Great South Run covering the distance in a single effort within 24 hours. Last year she was awarded an MBE for services to spinal injury research at Buckingham Palace.
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