NEWS
23/04/2012 09:17 BST | Updated 25/04/2012 08:00 BST

Claire Squires Death: Donations Soar For Fallen London Marathon 2012 Runner

Donations to the charity supported by Claire Squires, an "inspirational" runner who collapsed and died during the London Marathon, have surpassed £200,000 with money continuing to flood in.

By Tuesday morning her JustGiving page had reached £266,000 as donations poured in from thousands of people. The money will go to the Samaritans, Claire's chosen charity.

The 30-year-old, from North Kilworth in Leicestershire, fell to the ground as she made her way along Birdcage Walk, near St James' Park, on the final stretch of the 26.2 mile course. She was given medical attention by paramedics but died at the scene.

The total is still rising at a rapid pace as more people give funds for her cause and in her memory.

Ms Squires' JustGiving page said: "I'm running the london marathon for Samaritans because they continuously support others", and earlier this month, she wrote: "hi guys as you all know i am running the london marathon it was just going to be for fun. but its a fab opportunity to raise money for my charity the samaritans if everyone i know could donate £5.00 that would be a great help and change lives."

Close friend Nicola Short paid tribute to Ms Squires describing her as an "inspiration" who brought laughter and love to everyone's life.

The pair climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for the RAF Association last year, raising £1,500 for the charity.

Paying tribute on the association's website, Ms Short said: "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."

In a statement on its website, the association, which works to support serving and former RAF personnel and their families, said: "It is with great sadness that the RAF Association has heard of the tragic death of Claire Squires, 30, following the London Marathon on Sunday.

"Claire was a wonderfully vibrant and energetic person, who was a keen charity supporter and loved by all who knew her. Claire's efforts in support of the RAF Association helped to raise hundreds of pounds for our charity and that is something for which we will always be grateful.

"In 2010 she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and also took part in other fundraising events in support of the RAF Family in recent years."

Catherine Johnstone, chief executive of Samaritans, said the organisation was deeply saddened at news of her death.

She 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 that we are able to offer our vital service for people with nowhere else to turn."

See pictures of Squires' previous fundraising efforts here...