HomeArticlesLifestyleGold Coast Ironwoman Courtney Hancock returns to Coolangatta Gold
Courtney Hancock

Gold Coast Ironwoman Courtney Hancock returns to Coolangatta Gold

Dominica Czaczka | October 2019

Gold Coast local Courtney Hancock is a force to be reckoned with. She’s the first person in Australian Surf Sports history to win the triple crown of elite events within the same calendar year, has won three Coolangatta Gold titles and she carried the Queen’s Baton at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Perth born and raised in Sawtell, Hancock made the move to the Gold Coast shortly after graduating high school and hasn’t looked back since.

“For me it was more like why not the Gold Coast? I absolutely love living here. The lifestyle here is pretty incredible. There isn’t much traffic, the beaches and food is incredible and I just love the atmosphere. It’s a very happy place.

“I’m always up early and I feel you’re never alone here…most of the Gold Coast is up with you. Gold Coasters are up early working hard, doing their exercise, keeping healthy and fit. I feel very much at home here.”

The champion Ironwoman is set to make her much anticipated return to the Coolangatta Gold on October 13 after a two year hiatus. Heralded as one of the most challenging endurance races in the world of surf sports, competitors undertake a gruelling 41.8-kilometre long course from Coolangatta to Broadbeach. Competitors test their limits with 23km ski paddle, 2.1km run, 3.5km swim, 6.1km board paddle before launching themselves into a 7.1km run to the finish line.

Courtney Hancock is no stranger to the iconic event. A stalwart on the racing circuit, Hancock competed in the Coolangatta Gold when it first came back in 2006, when only the short course was open to female competitors. Hancock will set out to win a fourth Coolangatta Gold title and bolster her chances of reclaiming her Ironwoman Champion crown at this year’s race.

“I did the short course when it was the only one available for the girls every single year and as soon as we took it up to the long distance, I did that a couple times.

“I haven’t done it every year – the reason being that I’ve had different goals each season and for me that meant getting myself to be in this sport as long as I can and looking after myself,” she explains.

“I did decide to rest last year, so I haven’t done this race in two years now.”

While Hancock concedes she hasn’t competed in the Coolangatta Gold in the last two years, she’s confident she can draw on previous experience to help propel her at this year’s race.

“I do have experience in this race, I do know the coastline very well and I do know each metre of the course.

“That being said, I still find a way to keep it fresh and exciting. I completely changed swim squads this year, so it’s very much changed over the year.”

2019 will see both rising stars and surf sport elite converge on Coolangatta beach, with the iconic fixture opening the revamped Nutri-Grain Iron Series as the round one series event.

Hancock has welcomed the news, saying the inclusion of Coolangatta Gold as part of the Nutri-Grain Iron series has been long awaited.

“To have the Coolangatta Gold and Nutri-Grain series combined together you’re going to have the ultimate supreme athlete win that at the end of the day because you have to have a great result in the Coolangatta Gold as well as all the rounds joined together.

“I’ve wanted this for ten years. Ten years ago there was Alicia Marriott, there was Hayley Bateup, my sister (Bonnie Hancock), myself – we were asked the question ten years ago would we like it to be part of the series and we were all for it.

“The girls would do the Coolangatta Gold every year. It would be part of our pre-season and planning into the season, so to now have everyone doing it makes it an even playing field going into the series.

“Everyone is going to love it – I mean not when you’re out there,” she laughs. “It’s incredibly tough but at the end of the day you wouldn’t want to do it if it was easy.”

As for her days off?

When she’s not training six days a week, you’ll find the proud Gold Coaster soaking up the surf, exploring the coastline with her partner or digging into ‘a divine chicken parmigiana’ from her own BMD Northcliffe Surf Club’s kitchen.

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