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Monday, 21 April 2014

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Tributes after death of Cumbria's mountain bike champion

Cumbria's “extraordinary” and “unstoppable” mountain bike champion Jaymie Mart has died at the age of 31.

Jaymie Mart photo
Jaymie Mart

Originally from Penrith, she had been living in the Borders.

Her body was found late on Friday at an address in Northgate, Peebles. Police are not treating the death as suspicious.

Jaymie was a seven-times elite female Scottish Downhill mountain-bike champion and a silver medallist in the 2010 World Mountain Bike Masters Championships in Brazil.

A former pupil of Beaconside Infant and Junior schools and Ullswater Community College in Penrith, she started mountain biking aged 12 and was competing at 19. She worked at Palace Cycles in Carlisle and as a fitness instructor at the North Lakes Hotel in Penrith before moving to Scotland.

Mike Lee, her boss at Palace Cycles in Botchergate, said: “She was remarkable.

“She had an extraordinary, magnetic, personality. When someone dies the clichés get trotted out but Jaymie really was an extraordinary person, very clever, with a fantastic sense of humour.”

Tributes and messages of condolence from all over the world have been posted on social-networking websites and internet message boards.

Dan Jarvis, a respected TV commentator on mountain biking, said: “Jaymie was someone for whom the phrase ‘live-wire’ could have been invented.

“She was funny, smart, beautiful and seemingly unstoppable, but behind the crazy bravado was a warm, thoughtful, sensitive and caring soul.”

Friend and rival Petra Wiltshire said: “She was like the sun, a bright light, a warm loving person who brought fun into our lives.”

Jaymie’s mother Paula, who lives in Macadam Way, Penrith, was born in Barbados. This enabled Jaymie to compete for Barbados earning her the nickname the ‘Barbadian bullet’.

She gained a degree in sports science at Aberdeen University then an MSc in human nutrition from Glasgow University.

She worked for the Lucozade sport science team then in 2011 set up Athleat Nutrition to advise athletes on diet and nutrition.

She has lectured on sport nutrition, written for newspapers and magazines and contributed to a TV series to be broadcast this autumn.

When she was younger she played hockey for Cumbria, was a member of St Andrew’s Church Choir in Penrith and attended Morland Choristers’ Camp.

She is survived by her mother, father David, brother Adam and her mother’s partner John Shepley.

Mr Shepley said the family had been comforted by the many tributes and messages of support.

He added: “Jaymie was vivacious and fun-loving, very bright, very driven, with a keen sense of humour, keen to succeed in whatever she put her mind to. She was very inventive and thought outside the box, very attractive and popular. We will miss her terribly.”

The funeral will be in Penrith but arrangements have still to be finalised.

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