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Tragic charity rider was top rower

A woman who died after being hit by a lorry during a charity bike ride from John O'Groats to Lands End was an elite rower who had represented England.

Anna Roots, 34, from London, was killed when she collided with the vehicle on the A836 at Bettyhill in Sutherland, Scotland, on Saturday afternoon.

Mrs Roots died on the first day of the 12-day trip, which she undertook with friend and fellow rower Rebekah Edgar to raise money for the charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.

Writing on their JustGiving fundraising webpage, Ms Edgar said: "On Saturday 6 September, Anna and I embarked on the first leg of a charity bike ride from John O'Groats to Lands End.

"We had been planning the ride for over a year, and were riding in aid of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research in my memory of Vicky Mustoe.

"The first planned day of our ride took us along the scenic north coast of Scotland to a village called Betty Hill. Tragically as we descended into the village that afternoon Anna was involved in a fatal collision with a lorry.

"Ian, Anna's husband, has asked me to update this page to share pictures of that day, which show Anna enjoying life as she always did."

Mrs Roots, who rowed with the Mortlake Anglian & Alpha Boat Club in Chiswick, west London, rowed successfully in national competitions and represented England at the Commonwealth Rowing Championships in Canada in 2010.

Competing in lightweight sculls categories, she also had several trials for Great Britain but did not get into the squad.

Mrs Roots, whose husband Ian was a coach at the Mortlake Anglian & Alpha Boat Club, also worked with Mark Edgar, head of GB Rowing's medical services, as an administrator in his private physiotherapy practice. Her mother, Irene, also worked at British Rowing for many years.

A spokeswoman for British Rowing said: "We are all saddened by the news and are thinking about all of her close friends and family at what will be a sad time for them."

Tributes were left for Mrs Roots on her JustGiving page, where funds have reached around £10,000.

Colin and Sally Thatcher wrote: " This donation is for the girls' heroic efforts throughout and comes with great sadness over the death of dear Anna. A truly lovely person who will be sadly missed by all who came into contact with her."

A woman who gave her name as Louise added: "Darling Anna. I will never forget your beautiful smile, your love of life, and your beautiful soul. My thoughts are with Ian and your mum and dad. I'm heartbroken."

In a message on Ms Edgar's Facebook page, Emily Booker wrote: "S uch a tragic accident and terrible waste of a truly lovely person, unpretentious and always friendly and smiling.

"I saw her last at Henley Vets Regatta this year (with dog) just after you had won in your quad, hard to believe she is no longer here. Thinking of you and Ian at this time, lots of love xx".

And Suzanne Hutchings said: " Still shaking after having just read your post and not quite believing what it said at first. What tragic tragic news.

"My heart goes out to you and Ian. The rowing community has lost a true gem and a great national and international champion. I didn't know her that well but I do know she was hugely talented, respected and loved."

A Police Scotland spokesman said: " At about 3.15pm on the 6th of September 2014, on the A836 at Bettyhill, a collision occurred between an articulated lorry and a bicycle.

"As a result of the collision the female rider of the bicycle sustained fatal injuries."

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