Claire praises Great South Run supporters

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THE paralysed woman who hauled her way 10 miles around the Great South Run course has praised people who turned out to cheer her.

Claire Lomas completed her ‘toughest challenge to date’ as she walked for 24 hours with the help of a bionic suit before crossing the finish line on Monday morning.

In a message posted on Twitter by race communications director David Hart she said: ‘Thanks to everyone who supported me along the route – I couldn’t have done it without you and my amazing team.’

Claire, who broke her back in a horse-riding accident in 2007, has raised over £575,000 for charity through a number of gruelling endurance events, and became the first person to complete a marathon in her revolutionary Rewalk Suit – a robotic exoskeleton which enables her to walk.

In her latest challenge, she continued throughout the day and night without sleep to walk the race course with the aid of the suit and a pair of crutches.

She was met with cheers and applause as she crossed the line, having posted regular updates on Twitter as she battled wind and rain.
 Claire said she was overwhelmed with emotion as she crossed the finish line, to be met by her two daughters Maisie, five, and Chloe, nine months.

She said the fact this was her first long-distance race without stopping meant ‘it was a little bit unknown’ whether she could finish.