The harder the struggle the more glorious the triumph - that was the fitting slogan on Claire Lomas’ T-shirt as the aching mum-of-one soldiered on complete a mammoth 10k walk for charity in 12 hours.
Claire, who was paralysed from the chest down following a riding accident in 2007, wore her robotic suit to take part in the gruelling Vitality London 10,000.
Her aim was to raise as much money as possible for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation (nsif) - a charity committed to funding research and development into curing spinal cord injury.
Claire, of Eye Kettleby, was initially told she couldn’t officially take part in Monday’s Vitality 10,000 because the rules prohibited the use of ‘motorised assistance’.
However the event director later allowed her to take part as an unofficial entry.
Despite aching all over somehow Claire, who set off at 5am, managed to keep smiling as she focused on tackling her mammoth challenge a kilometre at a time.
Approaching the halfway point she tweeted to her supporters that she ‘felt close to death!’ but thanks to the support and encouragement she got from other runners she was inspired to struggle on.
She said: “From about four-and-a-half kilometres onwards, for a couple of kilometres, all the runners were coming past. The way they were, with their support and comments, was just so encouraging and it helped me.
“I struggled on through the last four kilometres and got to the finish at 5pm. It was a tough day, with not that many breaks, but it was definitely worth doing.”
Claire’s husband, Dan, walked with her to help her keep her balance and other family members including her dad and daughter, Maisie, as well as other friends and supporters were there to spur her on.
Speaking the morning after her walk Claire said: “The parts of my body I can feel are so sore, I can hardly get out of bed but at least my legs feel fine!
“I’m so grateful to my amazing family and friends and the incredible support I’ve had from so many.”
Seeing a tired Claire putting in so much effort to carry on with her walk also inspired Vitality 10,000 runners to soldier on.
Tweeting his congratulations to Claire, runner Dave Price tweeted: “Saw you around the 5km point and you were a huge inspiration for me to keep going and push on to the finish.”
So far Claire’s walk has raised more than £11,500 for the nsif, with more money still coming in. Her initial target was to raise £1,000.
You can still donate via her online fundraising page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/claire80lomas
Since her accident Claire has raised more than £515,000 for spinal injuries charities.
She made headlines in 2012 when she completed the London Marathon in 17 days wearing her robotic suit.
For more information about the nsif, which Claire is a patron of, you can visit their website at www.nsif.org.ukm