Inspirational paraplegic athlete Claire Lomas has confirmed that her next challenge will be the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon. In what will be her second marathon, Lomas will cover the 26.2 miles over a numbers of days and race organisers Xtra Mile Events are planning a significant reception to cheer her on as she crosses the finish line on Sunday 8 April.
In 2007, Claire suffered from a horse-riding accident that left her paralysed from the chest down. Five years later, the 36-year-old made headlines as she became the first person ever to complete a marathon wearing the revolutionary ‘Rewalk’ – Claire finished the 32nd Virigin London Marathon over the course of 17 days with the help of the robotic suit.
Looking ahead to the Manchester event, Claire commented: “This year my huge challenge is walking the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon. 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.”
Claire confirmed that she will use a newer version of the ReWalk, which is designed by medical device company ReWalk Robotics: “It moves my legs by me tilting my weight for every step but I can’t feel the ground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.”
In taking part at the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon, Claire is hoping to raise £20,000 for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation – adding to the £620,000 she has already raised for charity since she began a series of extraordinary feats of physical endurance.