The annual London Marathon began in 1981. Sadly since that first race 10 competitors have died. April 22, 2012, 30-year-old Claire Squires died close to the finishing line of the gruelling course bringing the death toll to 11. Attempts by paramedics to save her were in vain. Her cause of death is not yet known.
Claire was running for the charity The Samaritans. To all extents and purposes she appeared a healthy young woman. The previous fatality in 2007 was an even younger participant of the race. She was a 22-year-old fitness instructor.
In half of the deaths the reason has been underlying, undiagnosed heart problems. Surely this must mean that would be Marathon runners undergo a medical check before committing to running?
More than 37,000 runners pounded the streets of London as they followed the 26.2 mile course. One death may seem a small percentage but it is one too many. Ms Squires had a Just Giving Page online which is now full of heartfelt messages. Perhaps the best tribute to Claire will be to swell the amount of funds she has raised.
On her page Claire has said she is running for fun but also because "it's a fab opportunity to raise money for my charity, the Samaritans".
Please give generously. Thoughts are with the family. RIP
Update April 24, 2012: In just one day Claire's Just Giving page has been inundated with contributions. The total has rapidly grown from £500 to over £224,000.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog