Claire Lomas has completed her toughest challenge yet — and revealed that her and her husband Dan are expecting a baby.
The former eventer, who was paralysed from the chest down in a cross-country fall in 2007, was the first person across the finishing line of the Great North Run on Sunday (11 September).
She started walking in the bionic ReWalk suit on Wednesday and completed about three miles a day, finishing the final mile ahead of the rest of the field live on BBC television.
Claire told H&H the 13.1-mile route was “such hard work”.
“It has taken some effort as it was quite hilly and I was walking a long way each day,” said Claire. “It has been the toughest one yet.”
Claire, who is 16 weeks’ pregnant, struggled with morning sickness during her training and needed a trip to A&E on day three of the walk for treatment for pressure rubs on her back from the suit.
Olympic legend Mo Farrah was among those to share his support for the inspirational fundraiser.
“It was great — we stayed in the same hotel as quite a few of the sports stars, they are amazing at what they do,” said Claire.
She added the organisers of the Great North Run were “so welcoming” and that the buzz of finishing was “incredible”.
“It was hard because I was so tired — even the last mile felt difficult, it still seemed a long way,” she said.
People were stopping their cars to donate to Claire en route and she estimates the total will be around £20,000, for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation. The total on her JustGiving page has topped £13,000.
Mo described Claire as “amazing” after her finish.
“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,” he said.
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“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.”