2 claim victory at Memorial Hermann Ironman North American Championship Texas triathlon

Photos courtesy of Donald Miralle/IRONMAN
Photos courtesy of Donald Miralle/IRONMAN

THE WOODLANDS, Texas – First-time Ironman competitor Patrick Lange kept a consistent pace, while fellow German Julia Gajer made her way to first place on the run as the two claimed victory at the 2016 Memorial Hermann Ironman North American Championship Texas triathlon, event officials said.

Lange finished with a time of 7 hours, 13 minutes, 13 seconds as Gajer ran to an 8:11:01 finish. Officials said they both receive automatic bids to this year's Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

"Never, ever did I think I'd win," Lange said. "I can't believe it. I was hoping for top ten."

"I don't have any words," Gajer said. "The crowd kept pushing me forward. I couldn't have done it without them. I left it all out there."

The triathlon led athletes along a 2.4-mile swim, 94-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run throughout The Woodlands and its surrounding areas. Officials said the swim took place in Lake Woodlands, while the one-loop bike course took participants through Montgomery and Harris counties. Athletes then went on a triple-loop run within The Woodlands that concluded with a finish on Waterway Avenue.

Officials said the event offered a total professional prize purse of $150,000 and 75 coveted age-group qualifying slots to the 2016 Ironman World Championship, taking place Oct. 8 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

For event information and official results, tap or click here.