Hancock managed to claw her way back from a less than ideal 23 kilometre ski leg that saw her fifth out of the water. But one-by-one, she managed to peg back her competitors, staying on Danielle McKenzie and Lana Rogers wash during the swim and board legs, before making her move in the final 8.2km run leg.
In a dramatic turn of events, defending Coolangatta Gold champion Lana Rogers was forced to withdraw during the final run leg due to exhaustion, with paramedics attending her onsite. Rogers’ was sitting in second place behind McKenzie with Hancock closely on her tail.
What was a three person race became a two person battle over the home stretch, with the lead changing multiple times.
In the end it was Hancock who was able to find another gear in the dying stages of the marathon event, winning her fourth Coolangatta Gold title, 10 years exactly after she claimed first.
“This time 10 years ago, I won my first Coolangatta Gold and lost my grandfather the week before. The last thing he said to me was just get out there and do it for me, so the whole way I was just thinking of him,” Hancock said.
“It’s been an interesting six months for me, I had the worst Nutri-Grain Iron Series of my whole life at the start of the year, and I needed to get a few things better after that.
“I’m just really happy that I’m back, and I think that just shows that if you really put your mind to it, and have that self belief, you can do anything you want,” she said.
In winning the Coolangatta Gold, Hancock cements herself as the queen of endurance racing, a feat that is not lost on her.
“For some reason, I love this race. It really makes you a stronger person, not just a stronger athlete.
“I know over the years it’s made me really tough, and hopefully all the girls coming through can look at this race and give it a go,” she said.
New Zealander Danielle McKenzie crossed the line in second, with Australian Ironwoman champion Georgia Miller rounding out the podium in third.
- Courtney Hancock (Surfers Paradise) 04:22:43 hours
- Danielle McKenzie (Northcliffe) 04:23:12 hours
- Georgia Miller (Northcliffe) 04:25:38 hours
- Aly Bull (Alexandra Headland) 04:33:42 hours
- Camille Rosa-Perotteau (Mermaid Beach) 4:56:53 hours
For full results – click here