‘Don’t stop me now’: inspirational Claire Lomas raises £30k in nine-day marathon

  • Claire Lomas has shaved more than a week off her marathon personal best and raised more than £30,000 for spinal research.

    The inspirational former eventer walked the Manchester Marathon in a robotic rewalk suit, finishing in an emotional reception on Monday (16 April).

    “I’m tired, but I’m great,” said Claire, who was paralysed from the chest down in a cross-country accident in 2007, adding she is happy to back at home with her family.

    “It was hard work, but you can’t come back and just rest when you have two little girls!”

    Claire’s family was there to walk with and support her throughout.

    Sporting stars and celebrities, including Clare Balding and Olympic gold medal-winning hockey player Kate Richardson-Walsh, walked with Claire for part of the marathon.

    On the final day, the route took Claire past John Shaw Equestrian — a riding school, livery yard and competition centre — and staff brought out a pony for Claire’s eldest daughter Maisie, five, to ride alongside her mother.

    Claire has completed numerous challenges to raise funds for the work done by the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation to help cure paralysis.

    This was her second marathon — she completed her first, the 2012 London Marathon, in 17 days, and knocked more than eight days off that time to complete the Manchester Marathon in nine.

    “That’s quite a lot less, so I’m really pleased, but my aim really was to raise money and awareness [for the work the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation does] and I’m really pleased with how that has gone,” added Claire.

    “I had so much support out there and it keeps you going when you get tired — people’s generosity along the route and the messages I received were amazing.”

    Claire Lomas Manchester Marathon

    A pre-race auction, with lots including a demo and yard tour with Carl Hester, a day with Mary King, a spa day and entry to many of the UK’s top events, raised £6,947.

    “That was a real boost,” added Claire.

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    She was walking as part of BBC Radio 2 broadcaster Vassos Alexander’s #dontstopmenow team of 10 inspirational people taking part in the marathon.

    BBC Radio 2 breakfast presenter Chris Evans and Vassos both said they were hoping to take part in the Melton Mowbray Road 2 Recovery race day on 10 June, which Claire organises.

    Claire added she has another challenge planned, with more details to be revealed soon.

    Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lotsofsmallsteps to donate to Claire’s fund.

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