"To be called an inspiration is a bit weird, but if my story can help others get involved in triathlon then that’s simply fantastic."

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Swim, bike and overcome: Steve Harris and MS

“I used to be part of a cycling club; however I was so wobbly that they asked me not to attend,” Steve said. “I then tried running but also found I kept feeling wobbly and falling over.”

Steve decided to find out why he was so wobbly on his feet and was diagnosed with MS: “When I found out I had MS I thought my life was over. I googled the condition, bad idea as it tells you you’ll be in a wheelchair in five years, but also found that exercise really helps.”

MS Society says that MS is a condition that affects your brain and spinal cord, and can lead to a range of symptoms such as blurred vision and problems with how people think and feel.  Following his diagnosis, Steve turned to exercise to help manage his symptoms: “I joined a local gym to help me get active and maintain my core strength,” Steve commented. “After a couple of months I started to notice the difference in my body then, having seen an advert at the gym, signed up and completed a Tough Mudder.”

Having completed the Tough Mudder, Steve wanted to find his next challenge: “Triathlon came to mind, but I thought: ‘Steve you idiot, you can’t do that’ and off I went to start my triathlon journey.”  

Steve joined his local tri club and took on a few GO TRI Events. Having got used to racing over the three disciplines and conquering transitions, he fancied a slightly longer race.

“Without telling anyone I signed up for the Human Race Season Finale at Eton Dorney,” Steve said. “I loved it and now my wife and I have signed up to a host of 2020 races too.”

December 2019 saw the Evo Tri Club annual awards, where Steve found out that he’d been nominated for multiple awards. With each nomination came a bit about Steve and his story, but the prize was awarded elsewhere.

“It then came on to Most Inspirational Member,” Steve mentioned. “They read out bits about various people but hadn’t said anything about me. I knew I’d been nominated, but in a club where people have completed IRONMAN events and represented Great Britain, I never thought I’d win.”

“When they announced me as the winner I was in complete shock,” Steve said. “I still don’t think it was deserved, however I’m so grateful to the club for their help and the award.

“To be called an inspiration is a bit weird, but if my story can help others get involved in triathlon then that’s simply fantastic.”