Think you don’t have what it takes to run a marathon? Well, Claire Lomas may have to argue with you on that one. In 2007, a horse riding accident paralyzed Clair from the chest down. After five years of sitting in a wheelchair, unable to walk or even stand on her own, Clair received a bionic suit that miraculously enabled her to get back on her two feet.
Fast forward a few months later, and Clair is setting out to finish the London Marathon – that’s 26.2 miles! She started the race alongside 35,000 runners, 16 days ago. But she wasn’t alone when she crossed the finish line! Thousands of fans came to support her and cheer her on as she completed the entire 26.2 mile run.
“It’s a moment I’m going to treasure for the rest of my life,” she said in a nationally televised, live interview with the BBC after she crossed. “The support here has been – I didn’t expect it here like this. I couldn’t believe it when I turned up this morning in the taxi to start, and I thought it was just a busy day in London. Someone told me they’re all there for me. I was like, no!”
“Some days were more difficult than others. Yesterday particularly was tough. Felt really tired. I didn’t have a great yesterday, and I knew if I stopped, I wouldn’t want to get going again,” she told ABC News. “But with all the support, it just helped me carry on.”
Thanks to all her fans, Loman raised more than $100,000 for spinal cord research, and says she feels lucky.
“After my accident, for a few days, you think, why, why has this happened? But it has. And that’s that. You just need to find new things to do,” she said. “Of course I have bad days and difficult times. But I just get through them, and gradually, things get better.”