THE CurraNZ family has joined the triathlon and running worlds in mourning the passing of Chris Stirling, who died suddenly on April 30.
From Ambleside in the Lake District, Chris, 37, rose to prominence on the world triathlon and mountain running scenes, claiming many impressive achievements along the way that made us proud to call him one of our own.
Through his fantastic advocacy and many successes, Chris was a hugely valued and much-loved ambassador for CurraNZ in the UK since the brand started out in 2014.
Chris was the longest-standing member of our British athlete team who became a very good friend and mentor to many within the close-knit CurraNZ community.
Known for his easy-going, humble and friendly outlook, Chris’s gentle demeanour belied a hugely competitive drive and huge work ethic.
Amongst his many headline-writing achievements that gave us much to be proud of, Chris smashed the record in ‘The Brutal’ last year – considered one of the world’s toughest triathlons - and claimed a remarkable big-race double in the Celtman and Canadaman XTri events in 2017.
Since his passing, hundreds of tributes have poured in for this remarkable athlete, who inspired us and many others along the way.
Having started out a mountain runner before moving into triathlon, Chris adored the great outdoors and loved living and training in the Lake District, where he was a member of the Kendal Tri Club, Ambleside Athletic Club and Celtman triathlon club.
We have many happy memories of working with him, seeing him flourish in his sport and following his sometimes-crazy plans, such as his off-season up-hill skiing adventures that we didn’t even know was ‘a thing’.
In a Facebook message, his partner Jo Kilkenny paid a moving tribute.
"He was the kindest, gentlest man who gave the best bear hugs," she wrote.
"He never had any idea of just how amazing he was, modest about his many achievements and always willing to do anything for anyone.
"He packed a lot of incredible stuff into his short life and was loved by so many people.
"It was impossible not to be inspired by him."
Within hours of Ms Kilkenny posting the message, more than 300 people had left messages offering their condolences and paying tribute.
His passing has been felt with deep shock amongst his legions of fans and friends and will leave a big hole. RIP, Chris, we'll miss you.