Wife of Team GB runner Chris Smith pays tribute to beloved husband and father
Lindsay Smith, Chris Smith’s wife, has paid tribute to her late husband saying that the family takes comfort in knowing that he was ‘doing something he loved’ when he passed.
Speaking exclusively to the Scotsman, Lindsay reiterated her thanks to everybody that was involved in looking for her husband Chris last week after he went missing in the Perthshire hills saying that everyone ‘bent over backwards to help them’.
She said: “The mountain rescue teams were amazing, all the emergency services that were involved, all of the friends and runners that came to help look for him, and also the
community in the Glenlyon area were amazing, we were really touched by everybody that came together to support us.
“We didn’t know any of them but people just bent over backwards to help us during that search time."
Chris, who was 43 when he died, went out running on Tuesday October 27 in the Glenlyon area in Perthshire and was expected back around 5pm that day. Failing to return, a search and rescue operation got underway to try to trace him but unfortunately his body was discovered on the morning of Thursday October 29.
Lindsay continued: “We have been totally overwhelmed by the response that we’ve had to him going missing and then the news of his passing and I think as a family it has brought
us a lot of comfort that he clearly touched the lives of so many people.
“I think what we found particularly touching were the comments from the younger runners out there that had sort of talked about how he had supported them and encouraged them in their running at different events, that’s been really lovely to hear because as a family we probably didn’t see that side of him as much, we saw him as a family man.
"It was lovely to hear about how he helped other people so much.”
Lindsay went on to describe the type of family man her husband was and how proud he was of their two boys Alastair and Cameron, who are aged just seven and nine.
She said: “In our family, Chris was always truly like a beacon of energy. We were always on an adventure. He was a fab dad, such a great dad and we were just having the most
brilliant time in Scotland before this happened.
"We spent the night before in a wildlife hide spotting pine martens which is something that he had really wanted to do with the boys, we were so proud of what the children were
doing. And we had been on a really lovely walk the morning before he went on that last run.
“We were having such a great time on holiday and that’s a real comfort to us as a family.”
Lindsay added: "He was so happy, just before he went for his run he was talking about going up in the hills and how much it meant to him. How he just couldn’t wait to get back up
there and run. So we really take comfort in the fact that he was doing what he loved.”
Chris grew up in Daviot, Inverurie, but moved to Sussex where he lived with his wife and two boys. The family had been visiting Chris’ sister, Marianne, in Glasgow, before heading
up to Perthshire for a few days.
Lindsay continued: “We’re all absolutely devastated and it is going to take us a long, long, long time to deal with it. He’ll never be forgotten, but we’ll just hold onto those positives.
"We’ll hold onto the fact that he was doing what he loved and we’ll hold onto the fact that he was so happy.”
The family are still in the process of making arrangements for Chris’ funeral but Lindsay said that the restrictions on numbers have given them the opportunity to make the service
‘even more like Chris’.
She said: “It won't be a big indoor thing but we will think about how we remember him in different ways in the outdoors with his friends and family, which is much more fitting for
someone like him.
"We’ll also think about how we can build a legacy, and what we will do to remember him, probably in the world of running.”
Tributes for Chris have poured in from across the country from both family and others who knew what kind of man he was.
His cousin Ruth McKee said she would never be able to tell people about the hundreds of beautiful things that made Chris such an amazing man, ‘he was so popular and loved by
so many, but always put his family first’. His uncle, Seamus McKee, said Chris knew the important things in life and that he felt privileged to have had him as a nephew.
Fellow runners have also shared their condolences with the family and told their stories of the positive impact Chris had on the world.
Andy Douglas, one of his team-mates said that Chris was a role model that everyone looked up to on the GB mountain running team.
Linsday added finally: “In some ways we are grateful that we have had so much amazing time together this year because of lockdown. The boys, his two boys adored him. They
absolutely loved the adventures they had with him.
"We’ve got so many new memories that we can add to all of the amazing memories we already had together."
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