London Marathon Runner Claire Squires Remembered
Claire Squires has been described by her boyfriend, Simon Van Herrewege, as ‘the most incredible girl’. The 30-year-old died at Birdcage Walk after collapsing during the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday - for which she was running in aid of the Samaritans. Tests to determine the cause of her collapse are due to be conducted over the coming days.
Herrewege, a 31-year-old property developer, said that his girlfriend had a ‘heart of gold’. Talking to the Evening Standard, he said that Claire was a happy-go-lucky person and was driven. He loves her more than words can describe, and she will be missed very much.
Claire’s family said in a statement that words can’t explain how inspirational, incredible, driven and beautiful Claire was. She was loved by many people, and they all miss her dearly. The family has encouraged people to keep making donations to Claire’s page on website Just Giving.
Just Giving has already received over £500,000, and says it will donate its fee of about £18,000 to the charity. It also confirmed that her page has attracted the most donations ever made in one day since it was launched more than a decade ago.
It’s emerged that Grant Squires, Claire’s brother, died in 2001 from overdose at the age of 25 after becoming depressed due to the death of his girlfriend, Heidi Richardson, in a car accident that he survived. Claire is believed by friends to have been running for the Samaritans in memory of Grant. Additionally, Priscilla, their mother, manages a care home in Leicester and has been volunteering at the charity for 24 years.
Samaritans chief executive Catherine Johnstone says Claire chose to run the marathon because her mother has been a volunteer there for 24 years. This is a very sad time for her family and those who knew her. They desperately wish it wasn’t under these circumstances, but they have been overwhelmed by the response from people donating in her memory. These donations will be put in a tribute fund and will go towards projects her family feels would have been important to her.
In a statement, the Virgin London Marathon organisers said that they regret to have learned that a competitor had died on Sunday afternoon. Although immediate medical attention was available, she didn’t make it. They express their sincere condolences to her family and friends, they added.