Claire Squires: Runner who died during London Marathon 'suffered from heart condition'
CLAIRE Squires, the runner who collapsed and died during the London Marathon, suffered from a heart condition, it has been disclosed.
The 30-year-old fitness fanatic has been diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat but she refused to let it stop her running, a friend has claimed.
Tests are still being carried out to see if the condition contributed to her death after she collapsed less than a mile from the finishing line in the 26-mile race on April 22.
“Claire had been diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat,” a friend told The Sun.
"It might have made a lesser person take a back seat. But Claire just got on with it."
Simon Van Herrewege, 31, said he was waiting to cheer Miss Squires over the finishing line when a nurse phoned to say she was “very poorly” and had been rushed to hospital.
“I thought she had twisted an ankle or something, and I ran and flagged down a taxi,” he said.
However, when he arrived at the accident and emergency unit, he was told his girlfriend of nearly three years was dead.
Miss Squires was running the London Marathon for the second time when she fell to the ground on Birdcage Walk, near Buckingham Palace.
She was treated by medical teams positioned along the route before she was rushed to hospital by ambulance where she was later pronounced dead.
She was running to raise funds for the Samaritans in honour of her brother Grant, who died of a drug overdose in 2001, aged 25.
Before the race she had raised £500 but following news of her death, thousands of well-wishers have left donations totalling more than £1 million.
Mr Van Herrewege added: “"She'll be up there in heaven whooping for joy at the amazing worldwide response to her charity appeal. She is still giving."
Miss Squires from North Kilworth, Leics, was one of more than 37,000 people taking part in the London Marathon and had previously undertaken a string of gruelling physical challenges for charity, including climbing Kilimanjaro in Tanzania – Africa’s highest mountain – last year.
Her death was the tenth during the London Marathon since it began in 1981.
Five of the previous fatalities were a result of heart disease in runners apparently unaware that they had a problem. Four of these were cases of severe coronary heart disease.
The last competitor to die was a 22-year-old fitness instructor in 2007.