An exhilerating finish to gruelling Donaldson challenge
Published:  20 July, 2011

LEVEN: Employees at James Donaldson & Sons had an incredible completion to their exhausting but rewarding 2000km cycle on 7 July, as they accomplished their goal of cycling around all 24 of the Donaldson branches throughout Britain.

The most remarkable effort was made by Alan Sinclair, a retired member of staff and non-executive director, who cycled the whole 2000km in under three weeks. This enviable level of fitness was admired by the younger cyclists who took a relay approach to the journey - which even in small doses was a tasking voyage.

After a demanding three weeks, Mr Sinclair still had enough energy left for a party at the finish line located at the Donaldson’s sawmill in Leven. Here Alan and the final ‘Team Donaldson’ cyclists were greeted fondly by a large crowd cooling them down with showers of champagne as they crossed the finish line.

Speaking about the experience Mr Sinclair commented: “For me personally, the most outstanding aspect is the sense achievement. I worked out that including my training, I cycled over 1800 miles in three months! And I think one of the most incredible things is that I didn’t get a single puncture!

“Crossing the finish line was the best feeling ever. As I made the descent into the sawmill and saw everyone waiting it was absolutely breath-taking – and a really emotional moment for me. Looking back over the experiences I had, it was all absolutely amazing. The plans worked extremely well, and I think it was as good as it could possibly have been – if not better. Plus it was great fun! It’s fantastic to be back home though, I’m very glad not to have to get up and on to a bike every morning.”

Commenting on his fellow Team Donaldson cyclists, Mr Sinclair said: “All of the Donaldson’s employees who participated were incredible and were a great support along the way. I think the best thing to have come out of the cycle (apart from the money we raised for Columba 1400) is that the employees who are not experienced cyclists amazed themselves, finding they could cycle much further than they expected. Seeing their feelings of pride and achievement at the end of each leg was truly inspirational, and I really hope it inspires them to keep up with the cycling.”

As well as promoting healthier lives for employees, the Donaldson Challenge also proved a success for team morale, with Donaldson employees full of praise for their fellow cyclists and cycle support teams. Furthermore, every single cyclist to have completed a leg of the challenge cited meeting employees from other branches; the support at each branch; and the company of their colleagues on the cycle as real highlights of their experience.

Over £6000 has currently been raised for charity Columba 1400, with sponsorship still coming in.

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