Funds pour in for runner after marathon tragedy

By Dan Santy 23/04 Updated: 27/04 09:40

Buy photos » Tributes have poured in to North Kilworth woman Claire Squires who died while running the last leg of the London Marathon. (s)

TRIBUTES have flooded in to a North Kilworth woman who died while running the last leg of the London Marathon.

Claire Squires was just one bend away from the finish line when she collapsed at Birdcage Walk, near St James' Park, on Sunday (April 22) afternoon.

The 30-year-old hairdresser had completed over 25 miles of the 26.2 mile course before the tragedy happened.

According to the race organisers she was given medical attention at the scene but could not be saved.

A statement on the London Marathon website read: "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."

Miss Squires had raised £500 for Samaritans through her page on fund-raising website Just Giving before the run. Following her death, the total has rocketed to over £600,000 as tributes to her continue to pour in.

Comments have been left on the site by both friends and people she did not know, including fellow marathon runners, shocked by her sudden death and keen to pay their respects.

One post, left by Alex Chalmers, reads: "RIP. I never knew you but admire your courage and sacrifice."

Another, from Helen, Neal and Meg Barnes, reads: "So tragic. Claire was an inspiration to everyone. Our thoughts are with your family and friends - God bless."

Miss Squires had previously completed the London Marathon in 2010 and last year climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of the RAF Association.

Catherine Johnstone, chief executive of Samaritans, the charity Miss Squires was running for, 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 our marathon runners do. It is with their support, commitment and fundraising efforts we are able to offer our vital service for people with nowhere else to turn."

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