25/04/2012 17:38 BST | Updated 25/06/2012 06:12 BST

Claire Squires Death: Family 'Amazed' As Donations In Her Memory Top £700,000

The family of a woman who died during the London Marathon said today they had been "amazed" and "incredibly moved" by donations made in her memory, as the amount pledged to her chosen charity approached £700,000.

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

She died with the finishing line only one bend away, after 25 miles of the marathon.

She was taking part in the event to raise money for the Samaritans, an organisation her mother Cilla had volunteered with for more than 20 years.

Donations on Miss Squires' page on the JustGiving website soared as news of her death spread, increasing the total from just £500 on Sunday.

Claire Squires was described as "an incredible, inspirational, beautiful and driven person"

In a statement released today, after more than 60,000 donations, a spokeswoman for the Virgin London Marathon said: "Claire's family have been incredibly moved by the measure of support and donations from the public, and are amazed by the amount raised so far, which continues to rise.

"These donations are a lasting testament to their beloved daughter and the cause in which she believed so passionately. Claire was particularly inspired to run for the Samaritans by her mother's 24 years of volunteer work for the Samaritans."

The spokeswoman added: "Although a post mortem has been held further investigations into the cause of death are continuing and the family will not be making any further statements about this at present."

More than £700,000 has been donated to her JustGiving fundraising page

In a family tribute released yesterday Miss Squires was described as "an incredible, inspirational, beautiful and driven person".

The statement read: "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."

Miss Squires' death comes after her brother Grant, 25, died in 2001. A coroner recorded an open verdict at an inquest into his death. He was reportedly a drug user and had become depressed after being involved in a car crash in which his girlfriend was killed.

Anne-Marie Huby, managing director of JustGiving, said the organisation would be donating its fees to the Samaritans "out of respect for Claire's memory".

Monday saw the largest number of donations received in a single day on the website, with more than 10,000 people donating together at any given time, the group said.

Samaritans' chief executive Catherine Johnstone said the charity had been "overwhelmed" by the donations and would be speaking to Miss Squires' family about how the money should be used.

Friends paying tribute to Miss Squires, a hairdresser from North Kilworth, Leicestershire, have described her as an "inspiration" and "the most amazing person in the world".

Victoria Hauser said: "Claire was larger than life, fun-loving, bubbly, happy, cheerful, kind, giving, thoughtful. She was just the most amazing person in the world - the best friend I have ever had.

"She could never be replaced and dozens of people would feel like that - it's not just me. Once Claire was a friend, she was a friend for life and a very, very good friend."

Miss Squires is the 11th participant to die since the event began in 1981.