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Trust founded in memory of north-east runner

By Kyle Ritchie

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A charitable trust has been created in memory of a Daviot man who died while out on a run in Perthshire.

Chris Smith, who was 43 when he passed away, lost his life running in the Glen Lyon area while on holiday with his wife Lindsay and two sons Alistair and Cameron.

A search and rescue operation was launched on Tuesday, October 27 last year when he did not return from the run and his body was discovered two days later.

An inquest into his death found that Mr Smith had died of hypothermia and exposure after weather conditions had deteriorated during the run.

Now the family of the Team GB runner has launched The Chris Smith Memorial Fund in his honour.

The charitable trust has been founded in memory of Chris Smith.
The charitable trust has been founded in memory of Chris Smith.

In an online statement the family said: "It’s six months today since we lost Chris and, to mark this occasion, we are delighted to announce that we will be launching a grant scheme in his name to help runners from all walks of life fulfil their potential.

"The Chris Smith Memorial Fund will be set up as a charitable trust, with its objective to facilitate the advancement of running related sport, with a particular focus on hill running, via the provision of grants to aspiring athletes.

"These grants could help to fund travel to a key race, pay for new kit, cover membership to a running club, or any other way that ultimately supports those that want to develop in the sport.

"Details on how to apply will be shared soon and we’re looking forward to working with running organisations that meant a lot to Chris in order to promote the grants to those who need it.

"From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for all your support over the last six months and for making this initiative possible."

Mr Smith grew up in the community near Inverurie and was living in Haywards Heath, West Sussex at the time of his passing, but he regularly returned to Daviot and the surrounding area, where many of his friends still live.

An accomplished fell runner, he represented Great Britain in many international mountain running events and helped Team GB to bronze in the European Mountain Running Championships in 2016.

He first honed his talents in the north-east, and holds the record time for the Bennachie Hill Race.

As well as the charitable trust, plans are under way to create a memorial for him in the village.

A group of his friends banded together and contacted the Daviot Community Trust about the proposal

The trust was receptive to the idea of a memorial being created at the site of a water pump house and burn on the grounds.

Plans for the site include a refurbishment of the pump house – known locally as the ram house – complete with a new roof and working weather vane; tiered bench seating as a nod to the bronze, silver and gold podiums used in many sporting events; and a commemorative plaque.

A GoFundMe page has been created to raise funds for the memorial, which can be found at www.gofundme.com/f/the-chris-smith-daviot-memorial

In a further tribute, the organisers of the Daviot Biathlon will hold it in Mr Smith's memory.

To find out more about the charitable trust and how the money will be spent people can follow its Facebook page, on Twitter @csmemorialfund or email chrissmithmemorialfund@gmail.com

There is a Total Giving page at www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/chrissmith which will close on Wednesday, June 30, when the fund transitions to its new charitable trust status.

Related story: Memorial to honour runner planned for north-east community

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