Women's Death in London Marathon Leads to Donations Avalanche
by David Monti
(c) Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
(24-Apr) -- The charity for which the fallen runner at last Sunday's Virgin London Marathon was running has received a massive surge in donations, presently topping £355,370 (USD 573,922) from almost 32,000 donors, according to her official donations page.
Claire Squires, a 30 year-old from North Kilworth in Leicestershire, collapsed on Birdcage Walk in the 26th mile of the race, and died despite receiving immediate medical attention. The cause of her death has not yet been determined. According to Britain's Guardian newspaper, Squires had run the race at least one time before.
Ten days before the race, Squires posted this message on her fundraising page at JustGiving.com: "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."
Officials of Samaritans, which according to their web page provides "confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide," said that the donations would be put to good use in Squires's memory.
"We desperately wish that it was not under these circumstances but we have been overwhelmed by the response from people donating in Claire's memory," said chief executive officer Catherine Johnstone in a statement. "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."
Squires's death was just the tenth recorded in the 32 runnings of the Virgin London Marathon which was first contested in 1981. The race recorded a record 36,705 finishers this year.