England

Marathon star Claire Lomas finishes 400-mile handbike ride

Claire Lomas with daughter Maisie
Image caption Claire Lomas said the bike ride had been the toughest challenge of her life
Claire Lomas at 10 Downing Street
Image caption Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted as Claire Lomas rode past 10 Downing Street
Claire Lomas completing the 2012 London Marathon
Image caption In 2012, she completed the London Marathon in last place, but inspired many people with her courage and determination
Claire Lomas at the London Eye
Image caption The ride, which started in Nottingham and ended in London, took three weeks to complete

A paralysed athlete who has just completed a 400-mile bike ride, has said she is already planning her next fundraising challenge.

Claire Lomas, from Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, lost the use of her legs after a horse riding accident in 2007.

Last year she became the first person to complete the London Marathon in a robotic suit.

The Nottingham-to-London ride, on an arm-powered bike, took three weeks.

On completion of the route - which took in 161 towns - she said: "This has been the toughest mental and physical challenge of my life, a lot harder than last year's London Marathon.

"I'm relieved to have finished but so grateful to everyone that has text donated along the way, it's what kept me going through the really hard days.

"My cycle may be over but the search for a cure for paralysis isn't, so after a few days of rest, I'll start planning my next fundraising challenge."

During the cycle challenge she also visited schools to raise awareness about the work of Spinal Research and the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation, for which she has so far raised £72,000.

As she neared the end of her ride in central London, Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted: "@claire80lomas sped past Downing St this morning on her 400m handbike cycle around Britain, raising money for @SpinalResearch & The Nicholls Foundation @TNSIF #Clairescycle"

The fundraiser was left paralysed when she broke her neck, back and ribs and punctured a lung in a riding accident at the Osberton horse trials in Nottinghamshire.

She walked up to two miles a day to complete the London Marathon course, accompanied by her husband Dan, mother Joyce and daughter Maisie and finished the route in 17 days.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites