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The charity appeal set up by tragic London Marathon runner Claire Squires has now passed the £1 million mark.

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The 30-year-old collapsed and died during the race on April 22 as she raised money for the Samaritans.

So far people touched by her death have donated £834,000 directly to her page on the JustGiving website.

Gift Aid contributions totalling £179,000 have also been made by some of the 72,000 donors.

Catherine Johnstone, chief executive of Samaritans, said: “The circumstances under which the donations have reached £1 million are heartbreaking, but we would like to thank everyone for their support.

“We are deeply touched by the public’s reaction to Claire Squires’ very sad death.”

When Miss Squires began the marathon on Sunday she had raised £500 for the Samaritans.

Family friend Nicola Short said Miss Squires’ relatives were devastated but were drawing solace from the good wishes and kindness of the British public.

She said: “Obviously the more money that’s coming in is overwhelming but it is giving them a little bit of comfort to know she has managed to do such a great thing.

“I don’t think any of us had any idea of how much she would raise.”

Miss Squires, who collapsed on the final stretch of the marathon near St James’s Park, was the 11th participant to die since the event began in 1981.

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