27/04/2012 03:57 BST | Updated 26/06/2012 06:12 BST

Claire Squires Donations: 'She Would Have Been Overwhelmed' Says Friend Of Marathon Runner

A friend of Claire Squires, who collapsed and died during the London Marathon, said on Friday she would have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity in her name.

When Squires, 30, began the marathon on Sunday she had raised £500 for the Samaritans but today the figure was approaching £800,000 and more than 67,000 well-wishers had been moved to donate on her JustGiving webpage.

Yesterday it was announced she would be buried alongside her brother at a funeral next Wednesday.

Nicola Short said her friend's family were devastated but were drawing solace from the good wishes and kindness of the British public.

More on Claire Squires:

Just Giving Waive Fee For Donations

Tragedy In Claire Squires' Family

She told the BBC: "Obviously they are extremely devastated but they're together, they are a strong family and they are close, they have spent all week together round at Claire's mum and dad's house.

"Obviously the more money that's coming in is overwhelming but it is giving them a little bit of comfort to know she has managed to do such a great thing."

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

She added: "I don't think any of us had any idea of how much she would raise.

"I think she would be completely overwhelmed and completely over the moon. She'd be going 'woo hoo', excited."

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

She collapsed in Birdcage Walk, near St James's Park, on the final stretch of the 26.2-mile course She died with the finishing line only one bend away, after 25 miles of the marathon.

She was raising money for the Samaritans, who her mother Cilla had volunteered with for more than 20 years.

Short said she did not believe the news when she found out from a friend.

"I didn't believe him because she is such an incredibly fit, healthy person and I didn't think it was true," she said.

She added her friend was on time for her personal best and "she would have wanted everyone to know that because she always goes at 110% - she was so driven."

Squires was full of energy and positivity, her friend said. "I have never known anyone like Claire.

More than £600,000 has been donated to her JustGiving fundraising page

"You could ask anyone - she was louder than anyone in the room, she was larger than life, she was always always upbeat.

"She was a very caring and passionate person and always looking to improve herself and try new things and she loved raising money for charity and was always there for everyone as a friend through thick and thin."

Passing on a message from Squires' parents Cilla and Paul, she said: "They are absolutely overwhelmed with the generosity."

And she added her sisters were reading the messages on the JustGiving website and were "finding solace in that".