Courtney Atkinson goes AWOL

Champion triathlete turns his focus to full-time adventure with the family
Courtney and fam cruising the Pacific Islands © Awol Family
By Josh Rakic

Not simply content with being a champion triathlete, Courtney Atkinson has embraced the freedom of his two-month sabbatical from competition and turned his attention to adventure pursuits - both off-road and otherwise.

Having first tried his hand at off-road racing some three years ago and quickly become an Xterra force, Courtney has taken to the adventure lifestyle like a kayak to water - and now he’s bringing his family along for the ride.

Just 36 and with a wife and two kids, Courtney is the epitome of a young family guy. And he’s going about dispelling theories that kids kill your vacations by traversing the planet with the whole crew in tow and documenting it at

The Atkinson tribe travel in search of fun, sun and adventure, be it by foot, four-wheel-drive, boat or plane. And so far, with the aid of GoPros and Courtney’s trusty drone, plus wife Kinga’s penchant for photography, the Atkinsons have traversed the east coast of Australia and unveiled some of the best adventure activities fit for the entire family. Think of them not as trip advisors, but adventure advisors for the active family.

“For the first time in as long as I can remember I have taken some time the last couple of months to just live life without any plan or expectation,” says a refreshed Courtney.

“I’ve still been keeping myself fit, mainly by running which I'll do until I die, but also with a lot of adventure-related activities.

“I’ve been spending a lot more time with the family and together we’ve been embarking on mini trips around south-east Queensland and the south coast of NSW without having to jump on planes for a while.”

And with Courtney’s public appeal, and a picture-perfect family to boot, it’s quickly becoming more than just a lifestyle.

“We’re in the planning stage of what the next 12 months look like,” Courtney says.

“There are a few mini trips off the beaten track planned. I've got some personal projects in the works, too, that will involved mountains and my feet, and I'm looking to get the family involved.”

That’s because Courtney, like thousands of Australians, has a competitive spirit and wants to maintain his thirst for adventure racing but involve the family at the same time.

“From the racing front I move to off-road focus at the end of year with the main focus being the world champs in Australia at Crackenback in the Snowy Mountains and Xterra Maui,” says Courtney, who returned to training this week.

“There’s also potential to dip the toe into some multi-day adventure racing along with local Red Bull events like Bushrangers and Dune Dusters. And I’ll have the family with me to combine Dad’s pursuits with an adventure for the whole family.”

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