London Marathon death: Family tribute to Claire Squires

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Media captionParamedics attended to Claire Squires during the marathon but she died at the scene

A woman who died while competing in the London Marathon has been described as "incredible, inspirational, beautiful and driven" by her family.

Claire Squires, 30, from Leicestershire, collapsed on the final stretch of the 26.2-mile course.

In a statement her family said: "She was loved by so many and is dearly missed by all of us."

Donations to her fund-raising page have soared since her death on Sunday, with more than £400,000 being raised so far.

Her family urged people to continue making donations for her selected charity, Samaritans.

Driven person

Her family said: "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."

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

"Claire chose to run the marathon for Samaritans as her mother Cilla Squires has been a volunteer for the charity for 24 years," she said.

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Media captionSal Lalji from the Samaritans: "We are stunned by the response"

"This is an incredibly sad time for Claire's family and all those who knew her.

"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."

On her JustGiving fund-raising page, Ms Squires, from North Kilworth, had said: "I'm running the London Marathon for Samaritans because they continuously support others."

Paramedics attended to her at Birdcage Walk but she died at the scene, marathon organisers said.

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

Climbed Kilimanjaro

Formal identification of Ms Squires has not yet taken place and post-mortem tests will be conducted in the coming days to establish the cause of her death.

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Media captionClaire Squires' brother-in-law James Birrell: "Claire is one-in-a-million"

Many people have left tributes for Ms Squires on the JustGiving page and donations have also come in from fellow marathon runners.

Until Sunday, the day of the race, the page showed £400 had been raised for the charity.

Ms Squires, who worked at Moko hair salon in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2010 to raise funds for the RAF Association.

Prof Sanjay Sharma, medical director for the London Marathon, said Ms Squires was the only woman to have died during the marathon.

Seven of the 11 fatalities during the annual race were related to heart diseases, two people suffered brain haemorrhage and one runner died after drinking too much water.

A statement on the London Marathon website said: "We would like to emphasise that our immediate concern is for the family of the deceased.

"Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with them at this difficult time."

Up to 37,500 people took part in the 32nd London Marathon on Sunday.

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