Paralysed woman completes 16-day marathon

Claire Lomas finished the London Marathon today becoming the first person to complete any marathon using a bionic ReWalk suit.

The 32-year-old said she was "over the moon" as she completed the 26.2-mile route, which she started on April 22 with 36,000 other participants.

The former chiropractor was in tears as she crossed the finish line, 16 days after starting the race.

Claire Lomas closes in on the finishing line
Claire Lomas closes in on the finishing line Credit: PA

Hundreds lined the streets as she made her final steps to complete the race.

Three mounted members of the Household Cavalry gave her a guard of honour as she crossed the finishing line on The Mall.

The Jewellery designer was paralysed from the chest down following a horse-riding accident in 2007

Holly Branson awards Claire with the Virgin endurance trophy
Holly Branson awards Claire with the Virgin endurance trophy

Holly Branson, daughter of tycoon Richard - whose company Virgin sponsors the race, was at the finish line waiting to give Ms Lomas the Virgin trophy for endurance. The company hands out the award annually.

The world of sport were also quick to congratulate her on her marathon achievement.

Claire's just giving page is close to the 100k mark
Claire's just giving page is close to the 100k mark Credit: JustGiving

Ms Lomas, from Eye Kettleby, near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, raised more than £89,000 for Spinal Research, a charity which funds medical research around the world to develop reliable treatments for paralysis caused by a broken back or neck.

Speaking at the finish line she said:

I'm over the moon. 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.

– Claire Lomas on her achievement

Ms Lomas will not appear in the official results and did not receive a medal when she finished as competitors have to complete the course on the same day to qualify for a medal.

She did go home with a medal however, as a number of marathon runners decided to donate their own medals to Ms Lomas.

Claire with a donated medal at the finish
Claire with a donated medal at the finish

Jacqui Rose, from Southampton who contributed her medal along with an estimated 12 others, said: "She has epitomised what I thought the London Marathon was all about.

"That medal, when you have completed it and gone through all the pain of it, symbolises 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."