Great North Run
Wednesday 7th September to Sunday 11th September
Claire was the first person to complete the Great North Run in a robotic suit.
On 7th September Claire embarked on a journey that would challenge her both physically and mentally. She started with a talk at Newcastle High School, and left pupils in awe. Approx 150 came to the start to cheer Claire on. The first day was gruelling - some tough hills after Tyne Bridge and temperatures above 26 degrees. Claire has to wear tracksuit bottoms and long sleeved top for protection - she was very hot and her injury affects temperature regulation so it was a struggle. However, she made the 3 miles.
Day 2 got off to a terrible start with low blood pressure being a problem. Claire was 16 weeks pregnant - both spinal cord injury and pregnancy can make blood pressure on the low side. It took Claire 4 hours to cover the first mile, and with so much sitting and standing the suit rubbed her back. It wasn't as hot but she walked in heavy rain making it slippy on the pavements. The day was the worst she had experienced on a challenge and completing the GNR didn't look promising. Again she made the 3 mile target.
Day 3 started with a visit to A&E to get the injuries dressed and that meant a later start than she would have liked. It was another slow and long day, but after 8622 steps she reached the 9 mile point on the course. She experienced some of the steepest hills she has ever done. At this point Claire felt the finish was now within reach.
Day 4 was the last long day of walking - and fatigue had kicked in. The pavements seemed to be difficult with the camber and roughness. It helped having her parents and Maisie join though. Maisie was very proud to have completed the mini mile earlier in the day and raising £300 for NSIF. Well done Maisie.
Day 5 was going to be a breeze as only a mile left - except it still felt incredibly demanding as each step is an effort and especially when exhausted. Seeing the finish line was a very welcome sight, especially that it didn't always look possible.
Claire would like to thank the following for helping her complete the GNR:
The GNR Team : Dan and all the team : ReWalk : David the elite sport physio for helping Claire each evening : Hilton Gateshead : Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead : All those who cheered and encouraged on route including teh schools who joined Claire : All who donated and so far close to £23,000 has been raised.
This was certainly the most gruelling challenge Claire has done - the lead up wasn't as good as it would have been if it wasn't for morning sickness but she didn't want to give in.
The harder the struggle the more glorious the triumph - and this is so true. If it was easy then it wouldn't be a challenge!.
Below are just a few of the media links covering Claire's amazing challenge.
To support Claire please text Legs60 £5 to 70070
As usual, Claire attempted this amazing challenge to raise awareness of spinal injuries and more vital funds for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation.