The London Marathon – A bittersweet story

This past Sunday was the London marathon.  I wanted to go and check it out but so far I’ve missed it the past 3 years in a row due to work.

For the past 2 or so weeks it has been raining steadily almost every single day.  On Sunday in the morning the rain stopped.  It was good running condition.  I was glad that even if I couldn’t be there to see the spectacle that it can become, with people donning ridiculous costumes, it would be ideal for the runners.  Since I’m a grown up now I did however listen to talk radio and got live updates during the marathon.

Then later in the day news surfaced about a runner who did not finish the race.  It turned out to be Claire Squires.  She was 30, fit, and running to raise money for the Samaritans.  A charity I am familiar with because of my line of work.  Their service is available 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide.

Claire collapsed in Birdcage Walk, near St James’s Park, on the final stretch of the 26.2-mile course on Sunday.  I can only imagine what the family are going through as Claire was also doing the run partly in remembrance for her brother who passed away a few years ago.  My heart goes out to her parents.

Out of this tragedy though something kinda amazing has happened.  On Sunday when Claire started she had raised £800.  Since then the British public has gone on to donate to her cause.  A lot.  Her donate page quickly crept up to £100,000, then £300,000 and today it has reached over £700,000, this doesn’t even include gift aid and text donations which brings the total closer to £900,000.  People are leaving messages of condolences and giving to a worthy cause.  Even though this has happened due to her passing I have to say that the story has to be shared.  For me it is things like this that restore your faith in humanity just that little bit.


6 thoughts on “The London Marathon – A bittersweet story

  1. It is sad when this happens. My childhood friend died crossing the finishing line at the Comrades marathon in 2007. It is hard, because of the added media coverage and hearing about it first on the news. I am glad people have come together to honour her.

  2. Heard about this. Terrible story; my heart goes out to the family, especially the parents. At least one good thing is coming out of this tragedy.

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