TEAM GB runner Chris Smith has tragically been confirmed dead after his body was found near a 3,700ft mountain.
Emergency services were called on Tuesday evening after Smith, 43, did not return home from an afternoon run in the Perthshire hills.
Tributes have flooded in for mountain runner Chris Smith (centre, right)Credit: Twitter / @smithcj_5
Tayside Mountain Rescue Team, police and a Coastguard helicopter were deployed to find Smith, who had been on holiday with wife Lindsay and two children.
On Thursday morning, a search-and-rescue team discovered a body near the 3,700ft Meall Garbh, Glenlyon, pending formal identification.
A statement on behalf of the family has since confirmed the death.
It read: “On behalf of our entire family, we are devastated to let you know that Chris has lost his life in Glen Lyon.
“He was doing what he loved having spent the previous days having the most special time with Lindsay, Cameron and Alastair.
“We would like to thank everyone for the support they have given us, in particular the mountain rescue teams, emergency services, members of the public and Chris’s friends that joined the search.
“We will always treasure his energy, spirit and love. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers.”
The Aberdeenshire-born runner competed in international mountain running events for Team GB.
Chris Smith is survived by a wife and two kidsCredit: PA:Press Association
The Scot (No4500, centre) was a popular character on the mountain running sceneCredit: Twitter / @smithcj_5
In the 2016 European Mountain Running Championships in Italy he helped secure Team GB a bronze medal.
Smith lived in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, and was most recently a member of the Thames Valley Harriers.
Tributes have flooded in for the much-loved athlete.
A British Athletics statement on Friday morning added: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Chris Smith, the Great Britain and Northern Ireland mountain runner.
“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”
Former Olympic sprinter Donna Fraser wrote online: “So sad… my condolences to his family.”
The World Mountain Running Association stated: “Everybody at the WMRA is incredibly saddened by the devastating news about Chris Smith.”
Former Team GB colleague Sarah Tunstall told the organisation: “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.”
Andrew Douglas added: “His longevity at the top level of the sport is something I really admire and should be of inspiration to all involved in mountain running. He’ll be sorely missed, one of life’s genuinely special people.”
Fellow trail runner Gary Priestley tweeted yesterday: “It is with great sadness that I hear Chris Smith’s body has been found.
“He was an absolute gentleman & a mountain running great as well as very strong on the cross!! Thoughts are with his family!! I’ll never forget the good times we shared. RIP my friend.”
Team GB 400-metre medallist Katharine Merry wrote online: “Awfully sad news… thoughts with friends and family.”
Source: Athletics - thesun.co.uk