THE FAMILY of Claire Squires, who collapsed and died while running the London Marathon, have described her as an ‘inspirational, beautiful and driven’ young woman.
Miss Squires (30) collapsed at Birdcage Walk, near St James’ Park, one bend away from the final run in to the finish line, having completed more than 25 miles of the 26.2 mile course.
Her family issued a statement yesterday (Tuesday), saying: “Words cannot explain what an incredible, inspirational, beautiful and driven person she was. She was loved by so many and is dearly missed by all of us.”
There has been a remarkable response to her tragic death, with thousands of people donating money on her fundraising website www.justgiving.com/Claire-Squires2.
Hours after her death on Sunday afternoon, the total stood in the hundreds of pounds.
As of 10am this morning (Wednesday) the figure stood at an incredible £619,000.
Gift Aid adds a further £134,000 to that total and JustGiving.com have also agreed to waive their usual five per cent fee, meaning all of the money donated will go to good causes.
A hairdresser, Miss Squires had previously completed the London Marathon in 2010 and last year climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, with a friend, Nicola Short of Kibworth.
She raised more than £1,400 from the Kilimanjaro climb, in aid of the Royal Air Forces Association, and was doing this year’s marathon to collect funds for the Samaritans.
Tribute comments can also be left at the bottom of this story.
Comments on the justgiving site include those from people she did not know, such as fellow London Marathon runners shocked by the tragedy. These included:
“I was so sorry to hear about this and wanted to donate. RIP Claire, my thoughts are with your family and friends.” – Becki Slater.
“Rest In Peace Claire! I’m sure all your family and friends are fantastically proud of you.” – Stuart Miller.
“I never knew you but was very upset to hear what happened. A tragic waste...Rest in peace xx” – Sam Haggerty.
“My thoughts and love go out to Claire’s family. I didn’t know Claire but was running yesterday and wanted to donate in her memory. Rest in peace. x” –Lucy Costello.
In a statement on the official London Marathon website, organisers said: “It is with regret that we have learnt of the death of a competitor in the Virgin London Marathon.
“A 30-year-old woman collapsed at Birdcage Walk, and although immediate medical attention was provided to the casualty, the fatality was confirmed this afternoon.
“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.”
Birdcage Walk borders St James’ Park and is the last road that runners have to travel before reaching Buckingham Palace, where they turn onto The Mall and the finish line.
Sunday’s death was the 10th since the London Marathon began in 1981. Five of the previous fatalities were a result of heart disease in runners apparently unaware that they had a problem. Four of these were cases of severe coronary heart disease.
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Weather for Market Harborough
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: South west