Lifestyle & Belief

Claire Lomas finishes London Marathon 16 days after it ended (VIDEO)


Claire Lomas, who is paralysed and walks with the aid of a 'bionic' suit, finishes the London Marathon on May 8, 2012,


Carl Cort

Claire Lomas finished the London Marathon 16 days after it started, becoming the first person to complete a marathon in a bionic suit.

Lomas was left paralyzed from the chest down following a horse riding accident in 2007 when she broke her neck, back and ribs and punctured a lung, according to The Telegraph.

Lomas told The Telegraph, "There were times when I questioned whether I would make it when I was training. Once I started, I just took each day as it came and every step got me a step closer."

According to The Guardian, three mounted members of the Household Cavalry gave her a guard of honor as she crossed the finishing line. Hundreds of people also lined the streets to cheer her on for the last mile. 

As part of her marathon mission, Lomas raised around $130,000 for Spinal Research, says The Telegraph. The charity funds medical research to develop reliable treatments for paralysis caused by a broken back or neck.

BBC reported the ReWalk suit worn by Lomas costs an estimated $69,000. The suit assisted Claire Lomas to walk by detecting shifts in her balance.

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Lomas walked about two miles a day with her husband Dan, mother Joyce and 13-month-old daughter Maisie. 

The London Marathon officials are being heavily criticized by both runners and the media for not including Lomas in the official record. Organizers told The Guardian only participants who finish the marathon on the same day they start would receive metals. 

In response several runners offered to donate their metals to Lomas. Runner Jacqui Rose told The Guardian, "She has epitomized what I thought the London Marathon was all about. That medal, when you have completed it and gone through all the pain of it, symbolizes that achievement of what you have gone out of your way to do for charity. For her not to have got one ridicules what the marathon was all about."

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