The inspirational fundraiser, who was paralysed in a riding accident, wore a bionic suit to help her become the first finisher of the 2016 Great North Run half-marathon
Inspirational British fundraiser Claire Lomas described her Great North Run experience as “incredible” after completing the world-famous half-marathon in five days.
The former event rider was paralysed from the chest down in a riding accident in 2007 but wearing a revolutionary bionic ‘ReWalk’ suit the 36-year-old became the first finisher of this year’s event and raised more than £10,000 for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation in the process.
Completing around three miles per day along with her husband, Dan, and support team, Lomas took on the final mile on Sunday (September 11).
Lomas, who walked the London Marathon in 2012 as she covered the 26.2 miles in 17 days, announced during her half-marathon challenge that she is 16 weeks pregnant with her second child and later explained how she was relieved to have managed to complete the full 13.1-mile course from Newcastle to South Shields.
“There were times when I thought I was going to quit, and I questioned whether I was going to be here today, but I’m so glad I made it,” said Lomas, who has so far raised more than £500,000 overall for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation.
“I’m so relieved to have finished. It was incredible. I had so much support from everyone on the course.”
— Great Run (@Great_Run) September 11, 2016
Lomas crossed the finish line at around 10am, before the elite men’s, women’s or wheelchair races got underway, and among those to congratulate her on her achievement was four-time Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah, who claimed his third consecutive Great North Run victory on Sunday.
“It’s pretty amazing for someone to have gone through everything she’s gone through, and yet still manage to finish the Great North Run,” said Farah. “I just want to congratulate her and her team. This is what the Great North Run is about.
“Anyone can come out and have the motivation, and for someone like her to do that is pretty amazing.
“We just need to encourage other people to do it, and I just want to congratulate everyone who’s behind her and herself. For her to have the courage to complete is pretty amazing.”