Inspirational fundraiser Claire Lomas will return to the Simplyhealth Great North Run to cheer on her father, one year after she completed the event across five days in a bionic suit.
Claire, from Leicestershire, was paralysed from the chest down in a horse riding accident in 2007 but last year became the first person to complete the world's biggest half marathon wearing the revolutionary ReWalk Suit..
The challenge was her toughest to date as she walked three miles per day and took on the event while she was 16 weeks pregnant.
This year Claire will return to the event to cheer on her Dad Martin who decided that doing the 13.1 mile challenge on Sunday 10 September was a must, now that his daughter had completed it.
Martin will be taking on his first ever half marathon in aid of the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation, who Claire is an avid supporter of Claire, who gave birth to baby Chloe in February, will also be supporting her eldest daughter Maisie, six, when she takes on the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great North Run the day before.
She also plans to walk a mile in her ReWalk suit as part of Simplyhealth Great Run Day, a campaign to inspire people to get active and move more on the weekend of the Simplyhealth Great North Run.
Claire, 37, said: “I am so excited to be returning to the Simplyhealth Great North Run this year.
“Last year was an incredible and unforgettable experience but I am looking forward to being able to watch the Great North CityGames and cheering Maisie on during her run as I was a little busy last year!
“I also can't wait to cheer on my Dad and I am really proud of him for taking up a challenge like this.
“He hasn't done anything like the Simplyhealth Great North Run before but he has been putting a lot of effort in to train for it and it will be an amazing moment for us all when he crosses the finish line.”
Martin, 66, added: “I am really looking forward to running the Simplyhealth Great North Run this year. “I have never taken part in an organized running event before and what an incredible one to start with!
“It's going to be a tough challenge for me but knowing that I am running for those who are unable to walk due to paralysis and also seeing what Claire went through during her own Great North Run will be the motivation I need to keep going.”
Claire has rebuilt her life since her accident ten years ago, discovering new sports and raising money for spinal charities.
She has raised more than £600,000 for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation and has given numerous motivational speeches.
Her next challenge will be taking on the Simplyhealth Great South Run in October, when she aims to walk the 10 mile course in 24 hours.
Claire added: “I am really looking forward to taking on a new challenge at the Simplyhealth Great South Run. “After completing the Simplyhealth Great North Run, I wanted to do something that would really push me to the limits.
“It will be a huge task for me to complete 10 miles in 24 hours but a challenge should be tough and something you are not completely sure you will complete.”