She has completed some incredible challenges but paralysed fundraiser Claire Lomas has this morning (Monday) finished perhaps her most gruelling to date - walking 10 miles through yesterday and overnight in a special robotic suit.
Claire (37), who lives at Eye Kettleby, wearily crossed the finish line of the Great South Run in Southsea, near Portsmouth, to ecstatic cheers from family members, her support team and spectators.
The event had been postponed on Saturday because of the dangerously high winds caused by Storm Brian but the weather had eased enough yesterday for her to raise even more money for Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation (NSIF).
Claire had already raised nearly £600,000 for the charity since she received life-changing injuries in a three-day event horse riding accident a decade ago.
She completed the London Marathon in 17 days in 2012 and the Great North Run a year ago, astonishingly while 16 weeks pregnant, using the same robotic equipment, which allows her to take slow deliberate steps despite her not being able to feel the ground beneath her feet.
Live television cameras on Channel Five captured her efforts from the start of the Great South Run, at 10am yesterday, with husband Dan helping support her from behind.
And Claire kept her Twitter followers updated with her progress throughout the day and night as she overcame rain and chilly conditions to inch her way closer to the finish on the Clarence Esplandade this morning.
She told reporters at the finish line: “I do not think I’ve ever felt so tired and I am keen to have a rest now.
“Across the 10 miles, it was tough all the way along.
“At the stage of the second mile, I was already tired and it seemed a long way to go but I made it.
“I am just really grateful to my support team and the Great South Run team for helping me out and for giving me this opportunity.
“It has been incredible.
“People’s generosity out on the streets of Portsmouth was amazing.
“We had so many cups of tea brought to us through the night.”
Her previous challenges were completed in a series of short bursts with regular rest time but this was the longest she had walked in a day by four miles.
A host of celebrities have added their support to Claire’s latest challenge, dubbed #10in24, including TV sports presenter Clare Balding, who Tweeted: “If you’re feeling you’ve got tough challenges ahead this week, channel a bit of Claire Lomas’s determination & spirit #Lomas #Superwoman.”
You can sponsor Claire on her online fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/clairelomasgsr , where the current total is almost £4,000 or you can text a donation to Legs60 £5 to 70070.