David McNamee began his late-season campaign with second place behind Belgian Stenn Goetstouwers at IRONMAN Italy Emilia-Romagna on Saturday.
The 35-year-old Scot, who has two Kona podiums heading his impressive resume, missed the 2023 IRONMAN World Championship in Nice for reasons he outlined recently. Instead he headed for Italy to start his bid to end the year on a positive note.
He found only Goetstouwers too good, just failing to run down the Belgian with a rapid 2:34:50 marathon to close out the day.
Swim – Close at the front
We had six men exiting the water with just 14 seconds separating them, headed by home athlete Mattia Ceccarelli. He was a whisker ahead of Britain’s Andrew Horsfall-Turner with German duo Florian Angert and Maurice Clavel next. McNamee was fifth.
At this stage Goetstouwers was down in eighth position, some 2:42 off the pace and more than two minutes behind McNamee. But he would move very much into contention for the win on the bike leg.
Bike – Olij blasts to the front
McNamee moved to the front of the field early in the bike leg, but that lead was short-lived and it was Dutchman Tristan Olij who made the biggest noise on two wheels.
Olij produced a new course record of 4:05:46 to rocket up the field from 12th after the swim to the lead heading into T2. Poland’s Milosz Sowinski was second, just under a minute away, after another excellent bike leg (4:06:19). Then came eventual winner Goetstouwers, who was just behind Sowinski following a 4:07:12 split.
McNamee meanwhile now had plenty to do, trailing the leader by 6:09 after a 4:15:18 leg.
Run – McNamee can’t bridge the gap
Olij held his advantage at around a minute for the first 15km of the marathon, before Goetstouwers made a decisive move to take a lead he would never relinquish. Behind him though, McNamee was taking chunks out of his deficit and cutting through the field.
By the time they reached the halfway point of the marathon the Scot was just over two minutes back and he continued to make inroads. At the front though Goetstouwers was resolute and it was only in the latter stages that the gap came down to under a minute.
The Belgian was strong enough to hang on for a victory by a margin of 46 seconds in a course-record time, with McNamee being forced to settle for second and Finland’s Henrik Goesch third.
IRONMAN Italy Emilia-Romagna Results
Saturday September 16, 2023
- 1. Stenn Goetstouwers (BEL) – 7:42:29
- 2. David McNamee (GBR) – 7:43:15
- 3. Henrik Goesch (FIN) – 7:45:08
- 4. Finn Große-Freese (GER) – 7:48:27
- 5. Milosz Sowinski (POL) – 7:48:56