Thousands of pounds pour in for dead runner's charity


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The Independent Online

Thousands of people donated money yesterday in memory of an "inspirational" 30-year-old woman who collapsed and died during the London Marathon.

Claire Squires, from North Kilworth in Leicestershire, fell to the ground as she made her way along Birdcage Walk, near St James' Park, only one bend from the finish line of the 26.2 mile course on Sunday. She was given medical attention by paramedics but died at the scene.

Ms Squires, a hairdresser from Market Harborough, was running to raise money for the Samaritans.

Yesterday, after news of her death circulated, the total raised through her JustGiving page had soared from £500 to more than £160,000. It was still increasing quickly last night, with over 14,000 individual donations made and tributes to Ms Squires pouring in.

Catherine Johnstone, chief executive of Samaritans, said the organisation was deeply saddened at news of her death. She said: "We are devastated following the tragic death of one of our marathon runners and are supporting the family through this very difficult time.

"We desperately wish that it was not under these circumstances but we have been overwhelmed by the response from people donating in Claire's memory."

Tests to establish how Ms Squires died are expected to take place in the coming days.

Her death is the tenth since the London Marathon began in 1981.