But yesterday at 12.50; 16 days after the race began, Claire Lomas did just that despite being paralysed from the chest down following a horse riding accident, becoming the first person to ever finish the London marathon in a bionic suit.
Lomas was cheered all the way by her husband, her daughter and her parents and despite finishing 16 days after the official race, the streets were lined as she crossed the finish line in recognition of her massive achievement.
However, I find it disgusting that Lomas does not qualify for a medal. Organisers state that in order to officially qualify for a finishing medal, a participant must finish the race on the same day. Clearly I’m not the only one who finds it ridiculous that she will not receive an official medal.
Numerous other participants from the race have donated their medals since Olympic rowing champion Sir Matthew Pinsent launched a Twitter campaign to get her one, so far 15 participants donated their medals in recognition of her achievement.
Sir Matthew told the BBC: “For the way that she has completed the marathon this year I think she deserves all those medals and more.”
Jacqui Rose, from Southampton, one of those who have contributed their medal said: “She has epitomised what I thought the London Marathon was all about.
“That medal, when you have completed it and gone through all the pain of it, symbolises that achievement of what you have gone out of your way to do for charity.
“For her not to have got one ridicules what the marathon was all about.”
What’s more is how inspirational Claire Lomas is; she hasn’t let her disability stop her from living her life. It puts into perspective what good lives some of us lead. We can all learn a lesson from this remarkable act of bravery and courage; there is no reason why we can’t challenge ourselves and succeed no matter what the circumstances.
Holly Branson, daughter of tycoon Richard, whose company Virgin sponsors the race, was at the finish line as she crossed to present her with the Virgin trophy for endurance. At least she gained some recognition from the sponsors, if not the actual organisers.
Do you agree that Claire Lomas should be presented with an official medal despite finishing the marathon 16 days after starting the official race because of the size of her achievement and bravery?
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