Britain mourns London marathon death

Runners approach the finish line at Buckingham Palace in the London Marathon, April 22, 2012 (Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett)
30-year-old Briton Claire Squires has died after collapsing during the London Marathon. She fell near the finish at Buckingham Palace on Sunday and never regained consciousness.

On Sunday evening the organizers confirmed her death, “although immediate medical attention was provided to the casualty, the fatality was confirmed this afternoon.”

A statement on the race’s official website reads: “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.”

Claire Squires, a hairdresser from North Kilworth in Leicestershire, had raised more than £500 for charity by running the marathon. The last post on her fundraising page on JustGiving.com read:

“Hi guys, as you all know I am running the London Marathon. It was just going to be for fun, but it's a fab opportunity to raise money for my charity the Samaritans.

“If everyone I know could donate £5 that would be a great help and change lives.”

Sunday’s incident was the tenth during the London Marathon’s 31-year history. The last participant to die was a 22-year-old fitness instructor in 2007. Half of the previous fatalities were a result of heart disease in runners apparently unaware they had a problem.

More than 37,000 people took part in the 42.2-kilometer race in sunny conditions this year. Kenyan runners dominated the marathon proving their superiority ahead of the Olympics. Wilson Kipsang and Mary Keitany claimed the men’s and women’s events to guarantee their selection for the games.


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