Chris Smith Memorial Fund honours memory of GB runner who died doing what he loved
Fund aims to find a way to continue fell runner's 'presence in the world of running'
A fund to honour the memory of GB fell runner Chris Smith stands at nearly £7000, just a few days after it was launched.
Smith, who was born in Aberdeenshire but lived in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, died in the Perthshire hills ‘doing what he loved’ while on holiday last month. The 43-year-old runner set out from Invervar near Aberfeldy for a two-hour tour of four Munros – Meall nan Aighean, Carn Mairg, Meall Garbh and Carn Gorm – but did not return.
Smith’s widow Lindsay set up the Chris Smith Memorial Fund as a ‘legacy’ for her husband, and so that his two children, Cameron and Alastair, would know ‘how awesome their dad was and continues to be’.
She also hoped that the fund will be able to make the same positive impact Smith did on other runners, ‘from everyday joggers right up to people who are now elite athletes’, and ensure that ‘something positive’ comes from the tragedy.
She said: “None of this will ever bring him back, and truthfully I would do anything to change that and bring him back, but as a family it will really help us and we really hope whatever we decide to do with this money it will one day help other people and in particular other runners.”
All sums raised by the Chris Smith Memorial Fund will be held by the Sussex Community Foundation and will be kept in trust until the family finalises plans for its dispersal. The Fund’s website states: “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.”
Smith’s funeral took place on Friday afternoon in Cuckfield, West Sussex. The service was live-streamed so that family and friends further away could also pay their respects. Runners in full club kit from Haywards Heath Harriers, Thames Valley Harriers and the Cottage training group were part of the funeral procession.
A GoFundMe page, set up by a fellow runner, raised £6,270 in support of the work of Scottish Mountain Rescue during its two-day search for Smith. That fund is now closed.