Claire Lomas is almost at the end of her challenge to ride 400 miles around the UK. Read up on how she's getting on, and how to donate with JustTextGiving.
“I’m full of cold! I feel awful!” says Claire Lomas. Having a cold is bad enough, but it’s worse when you’ve got to cycle 20 miles every day. With your hands. Following on from our look behind the scenes during her training, Claire’s now at the tail end of a three week challenge to cycle 400 miles through the UK on an adapted bike. And she needs all the donations she can get.
“The thing is,” Claire says, “my body’s not getting any chance to rest, so I’ve got no chance to fight off the cold. Other than that, though, we’ve just done a school visit, and the whole thing’s going really well. The kids are loving it – it’s amazing. It’s brilliant seeing them all.”
Claire’s doing a mix of riding and visiting schools, the latter – alongside building up media coverage – being what’s really helping her gain support for her cause; finding a cure for paralysis.
“I’ve got two school visits most days. The support has been incredible – I’ve seen such a range of people.” But what’s it like dividing your time in that way? “You’ve got to be two different people – a spokesperson and an athlete. When you go on the bike you get a bit of breathing space, whereas in the schools’ you’re putting a bit of a performance on. I’ve got to demo the ReWalk robotic suit [that Claire wore during the London Marathon in 2012], and getting in and out of that is hard work!”
Then there’s the biking itself, which is no mean feat: “It’s approximately 20 miles a day, and we finish on Monday. I’m really looking forward to finishing! The hills are always really tough,” Claire says, laughing, “although downhill’s really great!”
Get involved with JustTextGiving
“As far fundraising goes, we’re relying on people to read about it in the press and just do what we can. I haven’t had a chance to look at the numbers, but I’ve been adding on figures from the school visits.” We asked Claire if she’s reached the amount she had in her head before the challenge, but she tells us that any amount raised is worth the effort:
“We’re on about £60,000 now, which is quite a lot of money! It’s not easy – a lot of people are struggling, so it’s really great to get any support.”
To show your support, you can use JustTextGiving by Vodafone to donate. All the money from your text goes to Claire’s chosen charities, and it’s really easy to do, as Claire herself explains:
“Text donate ‘LEGS60 £3’, or whatever amount you want up to £10 to 70070, and spur me on while I’ve got my horrible cold. It’ll keep me going!
“There are lots of reasons I’m doing this challenge. It’s not just the fundraising; inspiring all these kids is really important. That said, the money does really boost you, too. Seeing donations and nice messages coming in is brilliant,” Claire says, wrapping up.
And that was that. We left Claire to get back into the saddle, and back on the road. We wish her the best of luck in the closing days of her epic challenge, and look forward to hearing how much JustTextGiving has helped her raise once she’s got some time to rest.