Triathlon titan David McNamee claims tomorrow’s Ironman race in Edinburgh could leave his rivals grasping for breath after revealing the course is one of the toughest he’s ever faced.
The 29-year-old from Ayrshire is the lead attraction in the first-ever leg of the long distance circuit in Scotland which will see around 2000 hopefuls, including some of the world’s best, begin with a 1.2 mile swim in the Forth at Prestonpans before a 56-mile bike ride and then a half-marathon run to finish around Arthur’s Seat.
But McNamee, who arrives fresh from winning Ironman Mallorca in May, admits he couldn’t turn down the chance of a rare outing on home soil.
“I was quite shocked when it was announced last year,” he said. “It’s great for the sport in Scotland. To have it in the capital city is even more special because a lot of races are in smaller towns.
“But it’s a very tough course, especially on the bike and the run parts. Most races tend to have flat runs but this one is around Holyrood Park. So we’ll need to save our legs a bit so we can make a push to the finish.
“One of the great things about our sport is that the distances are the same but the courses are unique. My last two races were in Spain in the sun but to be back here is good and it’s a different challenge.”
German Andrew Raelert, who was second at the World Championships in Hawaii two years ago, is likely to test McNamee but there will be a strong British contingent led by veteran Scots Fraser Cartmell and Ritchie Nicholls.
“It’s going to be a really tough field which should make for a tough race,” McNamee added.