No race medal for London Marathon fund-raiser Claire Lomas
Paralysed Leicestershire fund-raiser Claire Lomas who is the first to walk the London Marathon course in a bionic suit will not receive a medal when she finishes the challenge.
Claire, who has already hit her fundraising target of £50,000, passed Canary Wharf today on day 12 of her bid to walk the course in aid of the Spinal Research charity. She is expected to cross the finish line next Tuesday.
But under London Marathon rules, competitors have to finish the 26.2-mile course on the same day to qualify for a medal.
The mother of one, from Eye Kettleby, near Melton, will not appear in the official results or receive a medal, the organisers of the London Marathon confirmed today.
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The 32-year-old, who was left paralysed from the chest down following a horse riding accident in 2007, set off with thousands of other competitors on April 22 in her ReWalk suit.
So far she has raised more than £60,000 for Spinal Research, a charity which funds medical research around the world to develop reliable treatments for paralysis caused by a broken back or neck.
A number of celebrities have lent their support by walking a mile alongside her, including TV presenter Gabby Logan and her husband, former international rugby star Kenny. The latest was TV presenter and adventurer Ben Fogle, who joined her this afternoon at Canary Wharf.
A London Marathon spokeswoman said today: “As organisers of the London Marathon, we met with Spinal Research charity and informed them of our policy before Claire’s entry was formally accepted.
“I can confirm that any participant taking part in the Virgin London Marathon that does not finish on the day of the event, ie April 22, 2012, will not appear in the official results, nor be in receipt of a finisher medal. Finisher medals will be given only to finishers who cross the finish line in The Mall up until 6pm on race day, that is 8 hours, 15 minutes after the mass start at 9.45am.
“This policy is in line with most races around the world and is for very practical reasons.”
“After the final cut-off time we do not have water stations or medical cover on the course, the timing system has been dismantled, and we have no way of confirming that a runner has, in fact, completed the full marathon course.”
“In addition, we are only able to take responsibility for the health and welfare of people who complete the event on the day."
See tomorrow's Leicester Mercury for more on the medal decision, have your say below and add your vote to our poll on this page.
To sponsor Claire online visit http://www.justgiving.com/Claire-Lomas