David McNamee: ‘I got my a*** kicked but I’m not disheartened’

They breed them hardy on Scotland’s west coast, which is just as well because Irvine local David McNamee could not have picked a much tougher assignment for his first tilt at non-drafting racing.


The 26-year-old triathlete, who made the surprising decision to turn his back on a stab at the Rio Olympics in favour of going long, must have thought he was back in the ITU ranks after lining up alongside 61 other professional men for the start of Challenge Dubai. 

In a race characterised by testing conditions and beset with controversy, the flying Scotsman clocked 3:55:03 to finish 21st. Once the desert dust had settled, 220 columnist Tim Heming caught up with McNamee to discover if he was content with his debut, what he learnt and whether it has whetted the appetite for Ironman South Africa on March 29.