Claire Lomas trains for challenge at Rutland Water

Paraplegic fundraiser Claire Lomas cycle ride at Rutland Water - Claire Lomas in her special hand driven bike'Photo: MSMP070413-031js
Paraplegic fundraiser Claire Lomas cycle ride at Rutland Water - Claire Lomas in her special hand driven bike'Photo: MSMP070413-031js
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Paralysed mum Claire Lomas was joined by more than 100 people at Rutland Water yesterday (Sunday) as she trained for her next big challenge.

The 32-year-old who last year walked the London Marathon in a robotic suit, which took her 17 days, has now set her sights on cycling 400 miles across the country on a hand bike.

Her challenge will raise funds and awareness for Spinal Research and the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation.

The day at Rutland Water raised £1,600 which will go towards Claire’s target of £100,000. Those who turned up to join her donated £5 to ride either a 25 mile or 18 mile route around the reservoir.

Claire, who lives in Eye Kettleby, near Melton Mowbray, was delighted with the success of the event.

She said: “It was a really great day.

“We were so lucky with the weather and we had a really good turnout.

“And it was such a fun day. There were people in fancy dress, two girls dressed as a horse, who rode in tandem, and Teletubbies.

“It always makes it a laugh and my thanks goes to everyone who came and cycled.”

During her 400 mile tour, Claire will be visiting schools to talk about the work of the charities and tell her own life story.

Claire was left paralysed from the chest down in 2007 after a horseriding accident. But following the incident she has pushed herself mentally and physically to show that life does not have to stop after such an injury.

Last year her feat at the London Marathon gained her national recognition and raised £200,000 for Spinal Research.

Claire also won a host of national awards for her efforts including Women of the Year.

Claire’s latest challenge starts on April 22 at Nottingham Trent University and will finish on May 13. She will be riding the equivalent of a marathon each day.

Claire said: “Last year was brilliant and fantastic for me but I think this year’s challenge is going to be even harder.

“But I think I’m feeling ready and I’m really looking forward to starting.”

Claire is aiming to raise money through JustTextGiving. To sponsor her text LEGS60, or visit her JustGiving page.