Family of Team GB fell runner Chris Smith sets up a foundation in his name

Jane McGuire
·3-min read
Photo credit: Elaine Smith
Photo credit: Elaine Smith

From Runner's World

  • The family of Chris Smith, a Team GB fell runner who died when running in Scotland in October, has set up a foundation in his name.

  • Speaking to Runner’s World, the family said, ‘Chris’ family are determined to keep the legacy of Chris’ incredible talent, kindness and compassion alive and, as such, have set up a foundation in his name.’

Smith, who was 43, was on holiday with his wife and sons in Perthshire when he set out to run Meall nan Aighean, Carn Mairg, Meall Garbh and Carn Gorm, on October 27. He was due back at around 5pm that afternoon but when he didn’t return, the police were called. After a three-day search, his body was found. An inquest has since heard that Smith died of hypothermia brought on by exposure.

He was described by his family as ‘an experienced mountain runner’, but when he failed to return from his run, they expressed concerns that ‘he may have become disorientated and ended up further afield’, and raised the alarm.

Smith represented Great Britain in a number of international mountain-running competitions. In 2016, he helped Team GB win a bronze medal in the European Mountain Running Championships. He was originally from Aberdeenshire, but lived in Haywards Heath, Sussex.

Smith’s family also said, ‘We are determined that Chris’ name should live on in the world of running that he loved so much and dedicated so much of his life to.’

On the foundation's page, the family said he died ‘doing what he loved’.

'We know that Chris will live on in his two sons, his family, and all those who knew him. We also know he had so much more he would have given had he still been with us and so we would like to find a way to continue his presence in the world of running. It's early days in our planning for this; depending on how much we raise this could be an event, a charitable donation, sponsorship of aspiring athletes or something else entirely. What we do know is that we will do everything we can to ensure it is a fitting tribute to Chris' his family wrote.

Runners can donate to the foundation here.

Smith's teammates have also paid tribute for the runner:

Fellow GB team-mate Sarah Tunstall said to the World Mountain Running Association, 'I am overwhelmingly saddened by the tragic news of Chris's death. It is hard to put into words, his infectious enthusiasm for the sport and impact that would have on inspiring the team and individual athletes. He was a true gent, selfless team mate and fantastic athlete who always left everything out there on race day. I have countless fond memories of Chris and am privileged to have shared poignant moments in both our running careers, that will forever make me smile. It is a tremendous loss for anyone who knew him, and all my thoughts are with his wife and family at this devastating time.'

Our thoughts are with Chris' family and friends at this hard time.

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