Hundreds of thousands of pounds have been donated to a UK charity via marathoner Claire Squires’ web site in the two days since she died running the London Marathon, the Associated Press reported. Squires, a 30-year-old hair stylist from North Kilworth, England, had been running to raise money for the Samaritans, a UK-based suicide prevention group.
Squires had raised £400 for the charity on her JustGiving.com web page by the time the race began on Sunday, according to BBC News. By midday Tuesday, donations via her site had passed £390,000 ($630,000), the AP reported.
"Claire chose to run the marathon for Samaritans as her mother Cilla Squires has been a volunteer for the charity for 24 years," Catherine Johnstone, chief executive of the Samaritans, told BBC News. "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."
According to the London Telegraph, friends said Squires was running in memory of her brother, who died from a drug overdose at age 25 after suffering from depression following a car crash.
Most of the donations were gifts of just a few pounds, but they were coming in at the rate of more than $1,000 a minute, ABC News reported.
“An inspiration and an angel,” one donor who gave $8 wrote on Squires’ web page, according to ABC News.
Squires collapsed close to the finish line of the 26.2 mile course and paramedics could not revive her, BBC News reported. She died at the scene. The cause of death is still unknown.
About 37,500 runners participated in the 32nd London Marathon on April 22, BBC News reported. Eleven people have died at the race since it began in 1981, from issues related to heart disease, brain hemorrhage and in one case, after drinking too much water.
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