A group of friends are raising funds for a memorial to remember a talented north-east runner who tragically died.
Chris Smith, who grew up in Daviot, was 43 when he died while out for a run in the Glen Lyon area of Perthshire while on holiday with his wife Lindsay and two sons.
A search was launched for the missing Team GB runner when he failed to return and his body was later discovered.
The former Inverurie Academy pupil was from Daviot but had been living in Haywards Heath, West Sussex at the time of his death.
Now his friends are working with Daviot Community Trust to create a lasting memorial on the grounds of Daviot House Estate.
They want to make it at the 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 and tiered bench seating as a nod to the bronze, silver and gold podiums used in many sporting events.
David Barrack, one of Chris’s friends, said: “We thought it would be a fitting tribute to create some sort of memorial to Chris in the village where he spent so many happy years, so we got in touch with Peter McHattie from the Daviot Community Trust; Peter and the Trust collectively put their heads together for ideas on a fitting tribute.
“The pump house renovation, memorial plaque and seating tied in with their annual biathlon and seemed to have ticked all the boxes. With the trust and Chris’s friends on board, plans were put in place.
“We think that this would be a great place, not only for people to remember Chris, but also a nice spot that people in the village can enjoy for many years to come.
The setting is very peaceful with a burn leading down to a pond and the pump house has open views of the surrounding countryside and is a great place to watch wildlife.”
An online crowdfunder has been launched for the memorial and in another tribute to Chris, next year’s Daviot Biathlon will be held in his memory with his wife Lindsay presenting the trophies at the event next August.
David added: “We’re lucky to have a lot of talented friends, including architects, graphic designers, builders and joiners who have already either offered help or have already started to get the wheels in motion.
“We have a 3D sketch of what we’d like the memorial to look like and an amazing silhouette of Chris running, that we’d like to use on a plaque at the site.”
Peter McHattie, Daviot Community Trust Director, said: “When David first approached us with the idea, we were more than willing to help; we were 100% in favour of getting it done.
“The rejuvenation of the ram house is something we’ve been wanting to do for a while, so for it to happen for this very special purpose is absolutely brilliant. When I speak to people in the village, they’re all of the same opinion.
“The trust members will also be happy to muck in and supply labour. We have a diversity of skills among the directors.
“It’s an ideal situation for a memorial and it will be used a lot by the community, I’m sure of that. It will be a really lovely place to sit. The way it is to be tiered, with split-level seating, will make it a real focal point.”
Dave King, organiser of the Daviot Biathlon said: “It would be really fitting to rename the biathlon after Chris. Given his enthusiasm for running, and his passion for the village, it is very appropriate. We’d also love to have Chris’s wife Lindsay there to present a trophy on the day, that would be absolutely lovely.
“When we were approached, we felt instantly that a memorial was the least we could do to commemorate Chris and we’d also consider making the event running-only – if that’s what is preferred. We’re flexible and open to ideas about that.”
Anyone wishing to donate to the memorial can visit the following website: