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'Bionic Woman' first to finish Great North Run

A woman, paralysed from the chest down after a riding accident, has become the first person to finish this year's Great North Run.

Claire Lomas, from Leicestershire, began her journey on Wednesday, using a revolutionary bionic suit to allow her to walk. She travelled three miles a day and crossed the finishing line at around 10 o'clock this morning, just before the other competitors were due to set off.

She was paralysed in 2007, but five years later became the first person to complete a marathon when she took 17 days to complete the London Marathon.

After finishing the Great North Run she revealed that she is expecting another child and is 16 weeks pregnant.

Claire Lomas crossing the finishing line Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
Claire Lomas and family Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

It's Great North Run Day!

Great North Run 2015 Credit: teve Drew/PA Wire/Press Association Images

It is the world's biggest half-marathon - and it is happening today.

There is expected to be 57,000 runner from all over the world taking part, including four-time Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah in the men's elite race.

The vast majority of runners will be raising money for charities.

With fine weather forecast for much o the day, large crowds will once again line the route.

To every runner - the very best of luck!

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Great North Run praised by UN Secretary General

UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon. Credit: ITV News

The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has praised the Great North Run, describing the half marathon as a ‘true celebration of humanity, commitment and personal achievement’.

The Great North Run will feature participants from 178 UN member states on Sunday, more than any other running event in history.

In a message sent to the Great Run Company, he passed on his best wishes to all 57,000 participants in the 13.1 mile event between Newcastle and South Shields, which will be staged for the 36th time on Sunday.

“It is a great pleasure to send my best wishes to all the participants in the Great North Run, which epitomises the power of sport to bring people together. Every runner’s experience is unique, but the finishing line symbolizes for all the culmination of hard work and determination. Communal activities and sports are good for people, communities and society as a whole. They can make an important contribution to development and peace. The Great North Run is an example of how sport empowers, motivates and inspires. It does all this while raising money for many worthwhile causes. The Great North Run is a true celebration of humanity, commitment and personal achievement. In a culture that loves to celebrate winners, this event makes winners of all its participants. I celebrate you all, and wish you the best of luck.”

– Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General

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