London Marathon death: donations rocket for runner Claire Squires
Donations to an "inspirational" runner who collapsed and died during the London Marathon have passed £210,000 on her fundraising website, and are continuing to be sent in.
Claire Squires, a 30-year-old hairdresser, had run the marathon once before and was in apparent good health before she collapsed in the final stretch of the race on Sunday. Immediate medical attention was provided but paramedics were unable to revive her.
Squires, from North Kilworth in Leicestershire, fell as she ran up Birdcage Walk, near St James's Park. It is the final road the runners take before reaching Buckingham Palace and turning on to The Mall. The cause of death is not yet known.
Donations made to the JustGiving fundraising page of the young woman, nicknamed Bear, soared as news of her death spread. On her page Squires had written: "Its a fab opportunity to raise money for my charity the Samaritans." Over the course of yesterday, donations to Samaritans on her page went from £500, and had gone up to more than £210,000 on Monday.
In March Squires had climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for the Royal Air Force Association.
Callie Wright tweeted: "RIP Claire Squires – lived life to the full. Only lady I know to take hair straighteners up a mountain!" Friends left messages on her Facebook page. Lillie Renshaw-Booth wrote "Thoughts with you. Can't believe it. She was so healthy."
Around 37,500 runners took part in the marathon. A London Ambulance Service spokesman said: "Our staff attended a 30-year-old woman on Birdcage Walk as part of the event and took the patient to hospital as a priority."
Tests to establish why Squires collapsed are expected in the coming days. Her death is the 10th since the London Marathon began in 1981. Five were runners suffering from heart disease, in four cases severe coronary disease, who were unaware that they had the condition. The most recent death was that of David Rogers, a 22-year-old fitness instructor, in 2007.
Catherine Johnstone, chief executive of Samaritans, said: "We are devastated following the tragic death of one of our marathon runners, and are supporting the family through this very difficult time. Our thoughts are with everyone who knew her.
"We appreciate all that our marathon runners do. It is with their support, commitment and fundraising efforts that we are able to offer our vital service for people with nowhere else to turn."
Squires was a hairdresser at the Moko hair salon in Market Harborough. A stylist at the salon said that on Monday the Squires family did not wish to say anything about her at this time, and the family had asked the staff not to comment on her death and to respect the family's privacy.
A statement on the London Marathon website said: "The organisers of the Virgin London Marathon would like to express their sincere condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.
"We would like to emphasise that our immediate concern is for the family of the deceased. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with them at this difficult time."
• This article was amended on 24 April 2012. The original story contained extraneous wording in the first paragraph. This has been corrected.Resources: London Marathon death: donations rocket for runner Claire Squires
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