Germans Patrick Lange, Julia Gajer claim 2016 Ironman North American Championship
THE WOODLANDS, Texas (14 May, 2016) First time IRONMAN competitor Patrick Lange (DEU) kept a consistent pace in the Texas humidity, while fellow German Julia Gajer made her way to first place on the run. Both claimed victory at the 2016 Memorial Herman IRONMAN North American Championship triathlon in Texas.
Lange finished with a time of 7:13:13, as Gajer ran to an 8:11:01 finish – both receiving automatic bids to this year’s IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i.
The men’s race started with Clemente Alonso-Mckernan (ESP) first out of the water clocking a time of 48:43, followed by Barrett Brandon (USA), Harry Wiltshire (GBR), Jeremy Jurkiewicz (FRA), and Andrew Starykowicz (USA), all within nine seconds.
Starting at tenth onto the bike, Starykowicz displayed his strength and speed and eventually built a comfortable 14:23 lead heading onto the run. Jordan Rapp (USA), meanwhile, came of the bike in second with a total grouping of 14 men, including Eneko Llanos (ESP), Kirill Kotsegarov (EST), Chris McDonald (USA), Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) and Matt Russell (USA) finishing within one-minute of each other.
On the run, Starykowicz continued to have a strong lead early on, until he re-aggravated a pinched nerve near mile-marker seven, causing him to give up his lead to Patrick Lange (DEU). Starykowicz was forced to pull himself from the race as Lange proceeded to dominate the run with a 2:40:01 marathon time, crossing the finish in 7:13:13 and claiming the title in his first-ever IRONMAN triathlon attempt.
Lange joins the likes of Tim Don, Brett McMahon and Jesse Thomas as athletes who finished in first place during their IRONMAN debut.
“Never, ever did I think I’d win. I can’t believe it, I was hoping for top ten,” Lange exclaimed after the race.
American Matt Russell finished in second place with a time of 7:21:56, while Bozzone rounded out the podium in third with a time of 7:25:55.
Top five professional men’s results:
BIKE RUN FINISH
Patrick Lange DEU 00:48:57 03:39:28 02:40:01 07:13:13
Matt Russell USA 00:56:41 03:31:47 02:48:14 07:21:56
Lauren Brandon (USA) led the women’s race out of the swim in Lake Woodland, maintaining her lead all the way through the bike course. Brandon clocked the fastest swim of the day for both women and men with a time of 48:32, also proving to be the fastest time of any female ever at this event. Alicia Kaye (USA) finished the swim in second, just 3:53 behind – with Rebekah Keat (AUS) and Darbi Roberts (USA) trailing closely behind.
Julia Gajer (DEU) had the second-fastest bike of the day, posting a time of 4:01:44. Gajer led a small pack including Jocelyn McCauley (USA), Keat and Kaye roughly three-minutes behind. Gajer kept Brandon in her sights, eventually closing the gap and taking the lead around the five-mile marker.
Gajer maintained the lead to win the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN North American Championship, Texas triathlon with a finish time of 8:11:01. “I don’t have any words. The crowd kept pushing me forward. I couldn’t have done it without them. I left it all out there,” she said, after crossing the finish line.
Jodie Robertson and Lisa Roberts, both representing the USA, followed behind Gajer in second and third place with finishing times of 8:16:30 and 8:17:58, respectively.
Top five professional women’s results:
BIKE RUN FINISH
Julia Gajer DEU 00:54:51 04:01:44 03:08:49 08:11:01
Jodie Robertson USA 01:07:21 04:01:55 02:59:26 08:16:30
Lisa Roberts USA 01:06:52 04:06:18 02:59:03 08:17:58
Kelly Williamson USA 00:54:49 04:17:11 03:04:33 08:22:06
Alicia Kaye USA 00:55:24 04:07:15 03:23:31 08:29:29
One of more than 40 events in the global IRONMAN Series, the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN North American Championship Texas triathlon led athletes along a 2.4-mile swim, a 94-mile bike and a 26.2-mile run throughout The Woodlands and surrounding areas. The swim was situated in Lake Woodlands, while the one-loop bike course took participants through Montgomery and Harris Counties.
Athletes then enjoyed a triple-loop run entirely within The Woodlands, culminating in a spectacular finish on Waterway Ave. The event offered a total professional prize purse of $150,000 and 75 coveted age-group qualifying slots to the 2016 IRONMAN World Championship, slated for 8 October in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i.