Claire charity fund nears £600,000
Donations to marathon runner Claire Squires' chosen charity have been soaring since she died during the race (RAFA/PA)
More than 50,000 donations have now been made to the chosen charity of the woman who died during the London Marathon, with the money raised approaching £600,000.
Claire Squires, 30, was described as "an incredible, inspirational, beautiful and driven person" as her family paid tribute to her on Tuesday.
She collapsed in Birdcage Walk, near St James's Park, on the final stretch of the 26.2-mile course on Sunday.
Miss Squires was taking part in the event to raise money for the Samaritans because her mother Cilla has volunteered with the organisation 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. 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.
Miss Squires' death comes after her brother Grant died in 2001. A coroner recorded an open verdict into the death of the 25-year-old, who was reportedly a drug user and had become depressed after being involved in a car crash in which his girlfriend was killed.
Miss Squires' family said in a statement: "On behalf of Claire's family and all those who knew and loved her - we would like to say thank you so much for everyone's support. Claire would be so happy and overwhelmed with the incredible support that has been offered by thousands of people from all over the world.
"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. For Claire and the Samaritans, please keep the donations coming. Don't stop giving, just like her. It's what she would have wanted."
Anne-Marie Huby, managing director of JustGiving, said: "The response to Claire Squires' tragic death on Sunday has been extraordinary. Out of respect for Claire's memory, we will be donating our fees back to the Samaritans."
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.