Marathon in bionic suit took 16 days

By Jerome Taylor

It was only at the end that the tears finally came.

For more than a fortnight Claire Lomas had done a remarkable job of keeping it together, singularly focused on her goal of reaching the finishing line of the 42.19km London Marathon.

But as she took her final step yesterday, backed by the cheers of hundreds of supporters and a remarkable piece of engineering, there seemed little need to hold her emotions back any longer.

After 16 days of sheer determination the 32-year-old jewellery designer from Leicestershire, who is paralysed from the chest down, became the first disabled person to complete a marathon upright in a robotic suit, and has so far raised £91,000 ($187,000) for Spinal Research.

"It's amazing," she said, sobbing and beaming at the same time. "I've been wanting to get out of a wheelchair for the past five years. Now I'm just happy to sit down."

Lomas' feat was made possible by a bionic suit which propelled her legs forward by detecting shifts in her balance. The suit is currently in the testing stages.

- Independent

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