Donations flood to marathoner’s charity

More than £200,000 (US $322,500) had been donated in less than a day to the nominated charity of English woman Claire Squires, who collapsed and died Sunday while competing in the London Marathon.

Squires, who was taking part in the race to raise money for the Samaritans — "a confidential emotional support service" — fell to the ground on the final stretch of the 26.2 mile course.

Her page on the Just Giving website has been inundated with messages of condolence with more than £200,000 in donations, up from only a few hundred pounds early in the morning.

On the site, the 30-year-old said she had decided to compete "for fun" but also because "it’s a fab opportunity to raise money for my charity, the Samaritans."

Paramedics rushed to help the hairdresser but were unable to save her and she died at the scene Sunday afternoon.

Squires appears to have done extreme physical trials for charity prior to the London Marathon. In 2010, she was pictured on the peak of Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro with close friend Nicola Short for the Royal Air Force Association charity.

Short paid tribute to her friend on the RAFA website, saying, "Claire is an inspiration to us all. She brought laughter and love to everyone’s life.

"She will be sorely missed by all. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this time."

Squires, from North Kilworth in Leicestershire in central England, was just one bend away from the finish, on Birdcage Walk, when she fell.

A statement on the London Marathon website said, "We would like to emphasize that our immediate concern is for the family of the deceased. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with them at this difficult time."

Her death is the 10th fatality since the London Marathon began in 1981. The last competitor to die was a 22-year-old fitness instructor in 2007.