Marathon woman 'was inspirational'

Claire Squires collapsed and died while running the London Marathon on Sunday (RAFA/PA)

Donations to marathon runner Claire Squires' charity have been soaring since she died during the raceshould read: (Rafa/PA)

First published in National News © by

The family of a young woman who died while competing in the London Marathon has described her as "an incredible, inspirational, beautiful and driven person".

Claire Squires, 30, collapsed in Birdcage Walk, near St James's Park, on the final stretch of the 26.2-mile course on Sunday.

Already well over £300,000 has been donated to her JustGiving fundraising page. She was raising money for the Samaritans charity, reportedly following the death of her brother Grant from an overdose in 2001.

The family said in a statement: "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.

"On behalf of Claire's family and all those who knew and loved her - we would like to say thank you so much for everyone's support. 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.

"For Claire and the Samaritans, please keep the donations coming. Don't stop giving, just like her. It's what she would have wanted."

Donations and tributes have continued to pour in following the death of the hairdresser from North Kilworth, Leicestershire. Miss Squires was running the marathon for the Samaritans because her mother Cilla has volunteered with the charity for more than 20 years.

She was also motivated to support the charity due to the death of her brother, the Daily Mail reported. Grant Squires was found dead after taking an overdose in 2001, according to the paper.

Catherine Johnstone, chief executive of the Samaritans, said the charity had been "overwhelmed" by the response following Ms Squires' death.

"These donations will be put into a tribute fund and, following discussions with the family, will go towards projects they feel would have been important to Claire."

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