The champion mountain bike racer and sports nutritionist Jaymie Michelle Mart has died at the age of 31.
The Innerleithen-based entrepreneur, described as a pioneer of women’s mountain bike racing, became the Elite Female Scottish Downhill Mountain Bike Champion seven times, and the silver medallist in the 2010 World Mountain Bike Masters Championships.
As one of the most successful female racers in the country, Jaymie played a pivotal part in the mountain biking community within the UK and around the world. Since 2011, through her business Athleat Nutrition, she had been tailoring nutritional programmes to help sportsmen and women reach their full potential.
Her friends and fellow cyclists expressed their shock at her passing – and described her as “a whirlwind”, “fun-loving”, and “stunningly beautiful”.
Jaymie was renowned for her determination in life and in competitive sport. She also had huge personal magnetism, said to be the reason behind both her success in business and the fact that she had so many friends around the world.
“Races were a livelier place with her around, that wicked humour, raucous belly laugh and extrovert character made many wet, cold days brighter,” wrote one close friend on the website of the mountain bike magazine Dirt, to which Jaymie contributed. She had also been acting as The Herald and Sunday Herald’s cycling team’s expert nutritionist, with her advice published in a series of articles in The Herald Magazine.
Speaking to TheSouthern in September last year about why she’d started up her own business to help other athletes reach the medal podium, Jaymie said: “An athlete is an athlete every day of their life, and what sportspeople often do is just focus on what they are eating just before and after an event when they should be thinking about it all the time.
“I started mountain biking when I was 19 and have won various titles, but I know that winning silver last year really came down to implementing what I preach. I’m a testimony to how eating correctly can help you achieve your sporting goals.”
She earned the nickname The Barbadian Bullet, after successfully racing for the Barbados mountain bike team.
Her mother Paula was born and raised in Barbados and as a result Jaymie had dual nationality. As more cycling success followed she was able to gain sponsorship from brands such as Trek and Fox Racing Clothing.
“The Barbados race jersey is yellow,” wrote another friend in tribute: “this colour is how I want to remember Jaymie, she was like the sun, a bright light, a warm loving person who brought fun into all our lives.”
“Everyone who knew Jaymie will have many memories of her boundless energy and anarchic humour,” wrote another friend: “Despite her legendary approach to partying, she was a committed athlete – winning Scottish National and Student titles and representing Barbados with pride at the World Championships. She loved the sport and was a fiercely loyal supporter of her fellow female downhillers, cheering them from the sidelines if she was not competing herself.
“Her generosity and love of her friends was exemplified by her determination to run the London Marathon to raise funds for her great friend Tara Llanes’ medical treatment… she did it, of course.
“Away from the tracks she was an accomplished scientist, specialising in sports nutrition, and was building on her reputation as a leader in her field with her company Athleat Nutrition.
“She was funny, smart, beautiful and seemingly unstoppable, but behind the crazy bravado was a warm, thoughtful, sensitive and caring soul. There will be a little less sparkle to the world without Jaymie.”
She is survived by her mother Paula, her father David and her brother Adam. She is also survived by her mother’s partner John Shepley, along with his daughters Emma and Rachel.