Rising Ironwoman Courtney Hancock gives APOLLO the lowdown on the revival of the Ironman series, the Coolangatta Gold and how legends Hendy and Leech have influenced the face of the sport.
APOLLO: This promises to be a big season for yourself and for the series, Courtney, what are your goals for the coming summer?
COURTNEY: This Summer is going to be very busy for myself, but I’m really excited and wouldn’t want it any other way. My first race is the Coolangatta Gold. The race is so demanding on your body and is the toughest event on the calendar. My aim is really to be consistent throughout the season, because if you’re consistent you’ll be right up the front.
AM: You’ve had some impressive results over the past few seasons including 2nd in the Coolangatta Gold and wins in the Ocean Assault and Australian Championships- what’s been the most memorable race for you to date?
COURTNEY: Winning my first Australian title which was also my first Ironwoman win when I was 15. This race meant a lot to me because I gained a lot of confidence in myself and started to believe I can do anything if I set my mind to it.
AM: Gone are the days of the series being a male-dominated sport, with a wave of talented and enthusiastic Ironwomen such as yourself coming through- how do you think the face of the sport is changing?
COURTNEY: Ironwomen racing will only get more exciting every year. With so many new girls to the sport and there is just so much talent among the field. I think we’ll see Ironwomen advancing as a sport because the public look up to us as fit and healthy athletes who love and enjoy life.
AM: Does it help your motivation to have legends like Trevor Hendy and Guy Leech involved with the competition?
COURTNEY: Most definitely. They know what we go through to be where we are, and they’ve designed programs which test our strength, determination, courage, stamina, speed, agility and hunger to win.
AM: Are you working/studying while you’re on dry land, and if so, is it difficult to fit into your heavy training schedule?
COURTNEY: I’m a Beauty Therapist and I run my own business. Being so heavily involved in surf, sun and sand I believe in always protecting and looking after my skin.
AM: How did you get into the sport?
COURTNEY: I grew up in a small town called Sawtell in NSW. I lived on the beach- I was so close to the beach that at night the sound of the waves would put me to sleep and I would always have sand in my room. I’ve always had a bond with the ocean since I was very young and got into nippers when I was 5.
AM: Your sisters are heavily involved in surf lifesaving too. With your family so closely involved in the sport, did you grow up aspiring to compete in this arena?
COURTNEY: My three sisters and I have always been involved in surf life saving since a young age and we are all very close. Bonnie and I do a lot of our training together and we support each other through the highs and lows.
AM: Toughest event?
COURTNEY: The Coolangatta Gold.
AM: Worst wipe-out?
COURTNEY: Breaking my nose rolling in a wave.
AM: Ouch! Toughest competitors this season?
COURTNEY: Alicia Marriott, Kristyl Smith, Bonnie Hancock and myself. Battling your own mind and body is one of the hardest mountains to climb in this sport, because a lot of the time your body and mind are telling you to do different things.
AM: How do you relax outside training?
COURTNEY: Walk my puppy Jordi, watching Gossip Girl, practice doing crazy makeup on my sisters and friends, BBQ’s, going to brekky in Coolangatta with my boyfriend and trying to bake every kind of cheese cake I can haha.
AM: Thanks for chatting to APOLLO, Courtney!
COURTNEY: Thanks so much for having me!
Source: Apollo Magazine