Leicester

'Bionic woman' Claire Lomas banned from 10k race

Claire Lomas Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Claire Lomas completed the London Marathon in her suit in 2012

A paralysed woman who became the first person to complete a marathon in a "bionic" suit four years ago has been banned from entering a 10k race.

Claire Lomas, from Leicestershire, walked the London Marathon in 17 days in the suit after she broke her back in a horse-riding accident in 2007.

Organiser of the Vitality London 10k said UK Athletics rules prohibit the use of motors.

Ms Lomas said she was "disappointed" by the ruling.

"They let me in the London Marathon because they asked about the suit and my effort," she said.

"The legs move [with the help of the suit] but they only move by me giving it signals for every step and that's by using the parts of my body that aren't paralysed.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Claire Lomas lit the Olympic cauldron for the Paralympic Games in 2012

"I work hard for every step, even balancing in the suit is challenging."

The 35-year-old broke her neck, back and ribs and punctured a lung when her horse threw her off as she took part in the Osberton Horse Trials in Nottinghamshire.

Organisers wished Ms Lomas well in her fundraising but said: "The Vitality London 10k is a race held under IAAF, UK Athletics and IPC rules which prohibit the use of motors.

"There are many events held around the country which are not held under these rules."

Ms Lomas, who has raised about £500,000 for a spinal charity, is still planning to do the distance regardless, with the hope of completing it within a day.

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