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Donnie Campbell reclaims Badger Divide North to South record

Written by Fiona

June 30 2024

Endurance athlete Donnie Campbell has reclaimed the record for cycling the Badger Divide from Inverness to Glasgow. He rode 339km and a total elevation of some 6000m in 15 hours and 56 minutes on July 26.

Donnie, 39, of Inverness, previously set the record for the off-road route in 17:48m in September 2022 but this was beaten in May 2023 by Chris Hinds in 16:19.

In June 2021, Donnie also set a Fastest Known Time for the badger Divide, south to north. That record has also been beaten and is now held by John Mackenzie in 17:06.

You can see the male and female records for the Badger Divide on the FKT website.

Donnie’s new record ride on Badger Divide

It’s the fifth time that Donnie has ridden the route, either south to north of north to south. This time he chose to ride a Cervelo Aspero 5. He said: “The bike is a stiff gravel bike and I did suffer a bit on the rougher sections. I also lost some time on the descent of the Corrieyairack Pass, compared to riding a hard-tail mountain bike or a full-suspension mountain bike, but I made up for this on the smoother sections and I could climb faster.”

Donnie mixes bike training with ultra running sessions.

Another key to Donnie’s faster time was riding in daylight hours. He said: “I set off early and did the route in daylight, which was very different from when I have done the Badger Divide before.

“The conditions on the day were also very good and I tried to limit my time off the bike. My mantra was ‘time off the bike is time lost’ so I only stopped when I needed to fill up my water bottles and bladder and for a toilet break.”

Donnie fuelled as he rode relying on 80g to 100g of carbs an hour with Precision Fuel and Hydration gels and drink, mixed with PH1500 for sodium.”

The toughest part of the record ride came towards the end. Donnie said: “I think that I maybe started to fast on the Badger Divide and that might be why I suffered from Killin onwards. I had to fight to hold it together and not blow up.

“In the last two hours I also felt very nauseous. My stomach wasn’t happy at all.”

Donnie reveals he is delighted to retake the record. He said: “I can see part of the Badger Divide route from my home so it feels like a good record to have.

“But records are made to be broken and I am sure someone will now have another go at the route. For now, I’m very happy to hold the record again.”

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