Great South Run heroine Claire wins special sports award

Son saved by hero after A27 crash

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THOUSANDS of people cheered her on as she completed the Great South Run despite being paralysed from the chest down.

And now inspirational fundraiser Claire Lomas is to be honoured with a national sporting award.

Claire Lomas has won a Pride of Sport

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Claire Lomas has won a Pride of Sport award

The 37-year-old, whose life changed when she was involved in a riding accident in 2007, has been given the prize for Disabled Sports Person at the Pride of Sport awards, organised by The Mirror and held in partnership with TSB.

Last month she completed the 10-mile course around Portsmouth and Southsea in 24 hours while wearing a bionic suit.

She started her #10in24 Challenge with 20,000 other runners and continued through the day and night without sleep.

The mother-of-two said: ‘I am absolutely delighted to have won this award and it makes me feel very proud.

‘I am so grateful to everyone who has helped me during the past 10 years to help me achieve things I never thought I would.’

The awards celebrate unsung sporting heroes, including people who have overcome huge challenges to take part.

Last year Claire took on the Great North Run, completing three miles of the half-marathon each day so she could finish on the same day as 57,000 others - while she was also 16 weeks pregnant.

She added: ‘Completing the Great North Run and the Simplyhealth Great South Run are some of the things I never thought would be possible when I first had my accident and I hope that others see my story and decide they can give things a go even if they aren’t the fastest.

‘No matter how slow you go you are still lapping everyone on the couch.’

In the last 10 years Claire has managed to raise more than £600,000 for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation, and has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Claire, who is mum to Maisie, six, and 10-month old Chloe, said: ‘I had no choice with what happened to me. You have a bit of choice in how you deal with it, but it wasn’t without dark days.

‘Everyone thinks that these events are a huge challenge, but just getting out of bed when you’ve got nothing to get up for was a lot harder.’