2012 London Marathon #claireswalk
Over dinner late in 2011, Claire Lomas told her friends she would be walking the London Marathon in 2012 despite not walking a step since the accident which left her paralysed in 2007. She has always supported charities working towards a cure for paralysis since her riding accident in 2007- and saw this as an opportunity to raise more money.
However, there was one problem she had not yet been in the ReWalk suit. She was still doing a lot of rehab but it wasn't until January 2012 she first got into the suit. She had 12 weeks to learn and found it seriously challenging. Trusting her legs would even take her weight when she has no sensation at all was tough. Each step took immense effort and concentration. At times the challenge of the marathon just looked like a dream- but it was a dream that would come true.
Given Claire's strength of character, not one of her friends were doubting that she would complete - It was just a question of how long it would take!
Claire's Marathon journey started on 22nd April 2012- she started with the masses but very quickly they jogged past. They shouted and cheered- as did the supporters lining the streets. As the last supporters at the start faded away the real challenge began. Claire was on her own for most of her journey, with the exception of her support team.
It was as much a battle of tolerating dire weather, avoiding rubs and sores because Claire could not feel if the suit was pinching.
Also Claire had to find the energy to get back on the roads each day when energy was low.
Little did Claire know that she was causing a little bit of a media sensation. By the time she finished walking the 26.2 miles, thousands of people knew her story and had donated while hundreds turned out to cheer her over her own personal finish line. A bank of cameras greeted Claire at the finish along with the Virgin Trophy.
After 17 days of walking Claire crossed the finish line in London and whilst walking she had been taken into the hearts of the nation. Her efforts raised an incredible £210,000 for Spinal Research.
The mission was complete.
Throughout the Marathon Claire was joined by celebrities from the sporting and television worlds including Sir Matthew Pinsent, Dave Vitty, Dan Lobb, Claire Balding, Bob Wilson, Kenny Logan, Gabby Logan, Matt Holland, Ben Fogle, Tim Henman, Patrick Monahan, Natalie Pinkham & Tom James.
Claire also enjoyed the support from many competitors from all of the disciplines of the equestrian world.
Many of Claire's friends, members of her family, and new supporters joined Claire throughout the 17 days.
Claire was also kindly supported by Chancery Court Hotel;Dom with the best Black cab in the London;.The Household Cavalry.
On 22 April 2012 Claire started the London Marathon. By the time she walked over the finish line 17 days later, having coped with wind, hail, rain and shine, she had raised over £210,000 for Spinal Research.
She had broken records including becoming the first paraplegic to walk a Marathon in a pioneering ReWalk suit. London Marathon 2012 runners were so moved that she would not be awarded an official medal that 18 of them handed their medal over to Claire at the finish.
Since then Claire’s broad smile and enduring personality has inspired many people of walks of life including injured servicemen, other people with similiar injuries, children with disabilities and able bodied children to dream big and go beyond their boundaries.