Death of UK runner touches hearts, pocketbooks

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The death of a runner in the London marathon has inspired a flood of donations to the charity she supported.

Claire Squires, who ran to raise money for the Samaritans, which works to prevent suicide, collapsed Sunday near the end of the course. The cause of her death has not been determined.

By late Tuesday, donations made through her web page had passed 412,000 pounds ($664,000).

Squires, a 30-year-old hairdresser from North Kilworth, England, had climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with a friend last year to raise 1,500 pounds ($2,400) for the Royal Air Force Association.

The Samaritans said donations will go into a tribute fund in Squires' name.

Chief executive Catherine Johnstone said the charity had been "overwhelmed" by the public response.

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

Friends also paid tribute to Squires as a person committed to helping others.

"Claire was larger than life, fun-loving, bubbly, happy, cheerful, kind, giving, thoughtful," said Victoria Hauser. "She was just the most amazing person in the world - the best friend I have ever had."