Meet Courtney Hancock – record breaking Ironwoman and #rawsome Raw C ambassador – Raw C

Meet Courtney Hancock – record breaking Ironwoman and #rawsome Raw C ambassador

Hey Courtney! First up, huge congrats on your recent Coolangatta Gold win! How did you first get in to the sport of Ironwoman?
A: Growing up, I lived in Sawtell, a surfy little town near Coffs Harbour. I was so lucky, because our house was right on the beach. It was so beautiful. I could walk out the back and down a bush track and I was right on the sand and I just fell in love with the beach.

When I turned five, I joined nippers. My older sister, Georgia, was doing it and I was so jealous before I was allowed to join! I’d just hang around and try and be friends with her friends. It was so cool to put the black and white cap on and be part of it all. I made lots of friends, built lots of sandcastles and started learning about water safety, wading, running…all the basic skills.

Just before I turned eight, I watched my first competition and just thought, wow. I really want to do what they’re doing. I got my first board for my 8 th birthday and from then on, I was out pretending I was an Ironwoman, practising in the surf. I loved it!

Q: When did you start racing?
A: A year later, I raced in the under nines NSW state titles and won a bronze medal in board. I was really competitive and I loved the way taking part made me feel. I was just so happy I could get out there and race on my fave place in the whole world – the ocean. My goal after that was to be the best Ironwoman in the world.

I won the under 10s NSW board state title and by the time I was 15, I took out my first Ironwoman title – the under 16s Ironwoman title. No one knew who I was, just a kid from a small town, so it was very cool to take that gold medal back to the Sawtell surf club.

Every year, I’d compete and win titles so after school, I went professional and moved to the Gold Coast to train.

It was a huge step but two years later, I won the Nutrigrain series and took out the title I’d always dreamed of winning. All the training, hard work, discipline and support from friends, family and coaches paid off!

Q: What do you enjoy most about the sport?
A: It’s just so different to any other sport. Most people love spending time at the beach and our sport take places at the beach. My job is to train, paddle and be at the beach every day and that’s pretty fantastic. You become the best version of yourself in this sport. It brings out the best of me and keeps me in my happy place and at my healthiest. Being the best version of myself makes me really happy.

Q: If you had to choose a favourite element of Ironwoman, which would it be?
A: The ski – in big swell it’s unpredictable and challenging and I love that. You’ve just got to back yourself sometimes when you’re on a big swell! It’s the most challenging to learn too. To be able to conquer that, especially as a woman, is a reason to feel pretty proud of yourself.

Q: What’s your favourite thing about competing?
A: I just love the feeling when you line up and you know you’ve done absolutely everything you can to get yourself to that point. Your health, your fitness, your training…you’re standing there, going in to the unknown, but you know you’ve done everything you possible can to prepare. Then when the gun goes you just let unleash the beast and go for it as fast as you can! I don’t feel that you’re up against anyone else but the ocean. Sometimes it doesn’t work out the way you want to go but it’s an incredible feeling to take part.

Q: What’s the hardest part about competing?
A: It’s not a job you can switch off from. You have to make sacrifices when it comes to spending with time with family and friends and I’ve missed out on weddings, engagements, birthdays and more. It hurts when you’re not able to be there but you have to do your best to balance things. If you want to compete in this sport you really have to be mindful of keeping that balance.

Q: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not training?
A: Spending time with loved ones and making sure I catch up with them. I love exercising everyday too but doing different things to when I’m training – things like walking and spending time in nature and the water. Life is always so fast paced so taking time to slow down is essential and helps me reassess my goals. I want to get into cooking a bit more, making raw treats especially, and love road trips, visits to family, going for dinner and watching rom-coms.

Q: What’s your go-to treat?
A: Any type of pizza with lots of cheese followed by chocolate!

Q: Why is Raw C coconut water important to your training regime?
A: Raw C coconut water is so important to me as an athlete, and not only because it tastes amazing and is all natural! Coconut water is packed with health benefits for hydration including essential electrolytes you need to replenish after training. Lots of people reach for a sports drink, but they’re full of sugar and don’t actually replenish your body’s needs. With coconut water, I know I’m having something that’s good for me, that helps with my body’s recovery and that I love the taste of.

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