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Former event rider Claire Lomas hopes to help those struggling with lockdown

Former event rider Claire Lomas hopes to inspire those who have struggled through lockdown by hosting a motivational webinar as she looks back at her journey.

Claire, who was paralysed from the chest down in a cross-country fall in 2007, will host the online event on 13 July at 8pm. The live 45-minute talk followed by a question and answer session costs £7.50 to view with proceeds going to the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation, and Whizz-Kidz, the charity Claire for which was raising money in what would have been her second London Marathon, before it was cancelled owing to the pandemic.

Claire, who has raised more than £660,000 for charity since her accident, told H&H she hopes the webinar will help those who have been struggling.

“Everyone is having quite a hard time at the moment and it’s so easy to get fed up. Even if this helps one or two people and gives them a bit of motivation, and raises some money for charity, it will be a good thing to do,” she said.

“I will take people through my journey and how I rebuilt my life. Hopefully it will give people some tips to take away, whether they’re dealing with a big change, or when things don’t go to plan – and with horses it doesn’t always.”

Claire started giving motivational talks after completing her first London Marathon, while wearing a bionic suit, in 2012. She has also completed the Great South Run in 2017, and the Manchester Marathon in 2018, wearing a robotic suit.

“I love doing talks,” she said. “Before my accident I would never have been a speaker, it would have been my worst nightmare to do something like this, but sometimes life changes and takes you in a different direction.

“I’m always nervous to begin with, it’s a bit like leaving the start box at an event, but then my nerves go. When you’ve had that adrenaline all your life through competing, I feel lucky I now have a career that gives me a similar buzz.”

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Claire had been preparing to take part in this year’s London Marathon, originally scheduled to take place on 26 April, in her everyday, non-motorised wheelchair while wearing full motorcycle leathers. She is waiting to hear if the rescheduled event will take place in October.

“My leathers are so restrictive and hot,” she said. “I’d been going up and down my drive and hit the 13-mile mark in training, then it was cancelled so that was hard. Now there’s the ‘what if’ it still takes place so I’ve got to stay fit!”

Places for the webinar can be booked here.

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