Thank you for clicking on this website. My name is Lou Harris and I’m an
amateur triathlete. In this website, I hope to explain a little about my
passion for triathlon, and the journey it’s taken me on. And also my
commitment to helping people get and stay active for all the wonderful
benefits it brings to individuals and communities, and how it’s never too
late to follow your dreams…
GOALS & UPCOMING RACES
You can follow my progress online - I’m
very active on social media and love
spreading the benefits of sport to all
Qualified for GB age group, 2012 World Aquathlon champs
1st- Bristol Olympic Distance Triathlon, 2014 and 2015
1st- Minehead sprint tri - 2015
1st – Bideford sprint tri -2015
2nd in Age group- Outlaw half ironman - 2015
2nd in age group, 5th female overall, (10:49) Outlaw Full ironman distance- 2015
Dublin marathon- 3hours 19mins
Silver- European Duathlon Champs, Copenhagen, 2016
Bideford Half Marathon, 1:29, qualified for Championship slot for London Marathon.
2nd in Age Group- Staffs 70.3 Ironman, 2016
3rd in Age Group, 10th female overall (10:15) Copenhagen Ironman- 2016
World Ironman Championships, Kona Hawaii, 63rd in Age group, 2016
London Marathon 2017 - 3:05
Outlaw Half 2017 - 3rd in age group, 10th overall female in 5:03
Ironman 70.3 Wimbleball Exmoor - Achieved 3rd in age group in 5:36
Outlaw Full Ironman - 3rd overall, 1st in age group in 10:04
Since I was a child I have always been a jack of all trades when
it comes to sport but never really excelled in one sport in
particular. Life took me travelling, to university, and to many
parts of the UK working in Sport Development, but it was
only when I settled in North Devon 10 years ago, at the age of
27 that I started running.
A friend asked me to try a 10k, and from then on I was
hooked. The idea of setting a goal, no matter how small or
large, then working hard towards it and ultimately achieving
it, was fabulous. Away from work, and all the other pressure
of life, it was just me in my trainers and the open road, and I
simply loved it.
I soon became interested in how far I could go, and signed up
for a half marathon. In the meantime I lost my Dad to cancer,
and I found running helped with the grief, it kept something
consistent in my life and therefore a little easier to deal with. I
soon found another challenge; to run the Venice marathon for
Marie Curie, on what was to be my 30th birthday.
I was now hooked at longer distance, longer the better. The
training and racing for half and full marathons were so hard,
yet so rewarding. And I knew I could get faster. But I still knew
I also desperately wanted to do a sport I could excel in, and
maybe one day even wear a GB vest.
Someone told me about Triathlon, it allowed you to do 3
sports in one (Swim, Bike, Run), so there was an opportunity
for me to learn 2 more sports! It certainly appealed, so I set
my goals high; representing my age group for Great Britain.
And so the hard work began, around working full time. It was
going to be my biggest challenge yet and at this point I hadn’t
ridden a bike for several decades… !
I achieved my goal by representing GB at the World
Aquathlon champs (Swim/run) in 2012, a wonderful
experience on the same course the Brownlee Brothers
competed in the Elite final. But I quickly set another goal. It
was time to go back to longer distance, and step up to half
In 2014, after 11 months of back to back training sessions, 6
days a week and often twice a day around work
commitments, I attempted my first ironman (3.8k swim. 112
mile bike, 26.2 mile run) And although a bike mechanical had
me sat on the side of the road for 45 minutes, I still managed
to come in just under 12 hours. One year later, in 2015 I really
started to find my feet with the longer distances. Consistent
training, dedication, an overhaul of my diet, and I had a
breakthrough achieving 2nd in age group, and 5th overall
woman at Outlaw Ironman distance triathlon. It was time to
chase my next big goal, the biggest yet; Ironman World
Champs in Kona, Hawaii, within the next 5 years
2016 was my most successful year so far. In Spring I raced my
way to Silver in the European Duathlon Championships in
Copenhagen, then shortly after achieving 2nd in my age
group at Ironman 70.3 Staffs. It was time to go back to
Copenhagen for my first of 5 attempts to qualify at Ironman.
The most nervous I have ever been before a race as you wait
for that gun to go off, to mark one very long day of racing! To
my utter surprise and delight, I ran a 3:35 marathon to come
home in 3rd place, in a total tome of 10 hours 15. And to find
out that I had achieved a qualifying slot at Ironman World
Champs, Hawaii, 4 years sooner than I had planned!!
The Worlds was the most incredible experience. To race with
my heroes and heroines of the sport, in a tropical paradise,
and finish on the red carpet that has had me in tears so many
times whilst watching it on YouTube on my turbo trainer, still
feel surreal even now!
My ambitions haven’t wavered or slowed down. The race was
hard to describe, so unique and so fabulous to be a part of. But
also brutal too. 40 mph headwinds across mile upon mile of
black lava fields, in 40 degree heat, and competing against the
top ironman triathletes in the world. As blessed as I was to
compete in and finish that race, I would desperately love to go
back for a second chance. It would be my ultimate goal to
return in 2020, stronger, faster, fitter and ready to race for
the chance to be on the stage collecting a prize for being top 5
in my age group in the World.
2017 started with a bang, or should I say a break!
Snowboarding in January saw me not so agile on the snow as I
remember and a broken wrist prevented me from some
valuable training. London Marathon was my first goal of the
year, with endless miles of 'run till you're sick' efforts! This
training was harder than I ever imagined. Race day was
amazing, what a buzz with the crowds, but I have to say my
hardest challenge yet. I did 3:05, totally stoked, totally
shattered. And a long recovery awaited!
My first half ironman didn't go to plan, not as much time on
the bike as I had needed over the winter and not recovered
from the marathon. Back to training hard after that and a very
long and lonely 3 days on the tour of Wessex followed to kick
start the bike training. 325 miles in 3 days and 5000 meters of
climbing each day. Mentally and physically hard, but
fascinating to see what multi day bike racing is all about.
And what amazing training for the last ever ironman 70.3 at
Wimbleball, home for 20 years and a very special place, it
seemed rude not to take part in the last dance. From my very
first 70.3 here on Exmoor in 2011, to a slightly more
measured and very much stringer performance in 2017, I
managed to knock off 1 hour 23 minutes and ran myself into
3rd in my age group.
Outlaw full ironman followed in July 2017 and to my surprise
I was racing in the company of some exceptional female
athletes. A pb in the swim and run and a total time of 10:04
saw me come in 3rd overall female, and the chance to
celebrate with the classic beer shower podium!
And now I wait, recovering and training and tapering all at
once, for the final race of 2017; Ironman Copenhagen.....
But by far the most important thing to me, and what keeps me
going when I get tired with all the training I do every day, and
when I’m racing hard to achieve my goals, is that I can hope to
inspire other people. Regardless of age, where you live, your
personal or professional situations, to take up sport and
activity is such a wonderfully positive thing to do in your life.
Sport is ageless and doesn’t discriminate. It has the power to
make you feel great about yourself, to find a new community
to spend time with. You may find a running buddy who the
only thing you have in common is your pace, or love of certain
running shorts! But it expands your horizons, helps you meet
new people and keeps your body and mind healthy,
I am lucky enough to see the power of sport transform the
lives of people in my role as Regional Manager for Sported,
the UK’s leading Sport for Social Change charity, working for
disadvantaged young people across the UK.
From many years of racing in local and international races,
and working full time in Sport Development, I have seen first-
hand the absolute impact volunteers have on community
sport. It is vital. Without volunteers so much of the sport we
see today from local clubs to the Olympics wouldn’t happen
I have always been committed to giving something back for
the huge amount volunteers have done to help me over the
last 10 years. I have volunteered by helping to set up local
parkruns, and also establish and coach informal running
groups for beginners. I find its a great chance to speak to new
people and get them excited about sport and what it can do
for them, and of course seeing other people enjoy sport is
amazing to see.
I hope I can continue to help people to go from contemplating
some activity to actually taking that initial step, and
maintaining their goals, and even if you work full time, or
don’t pick up a sport until you’re fully into adulthood, there is
always opportunity for sport and activity, and it can change
your life for the better if you just let it. It certainly has for me!
My performance during the 2016 season positioned me in the top 1%
of my age group, earning The IRONMAN Gold All World Athlete status.
London Marathon – Target 3:05… Achieved 3:05 (championship slot awarded)
Outlaw half - Top 3 in age group - Achieved 3rd in age group, 10th overall female in 5:03
Ironman 70.3 Wimbleball Exmoor - Target top 3 in age group - Achieved 3rd in age group in 5:36
Outlaw Full Ironman Goal top 3 overall female - Achieved 3rd overall, 1st in age group in 10:04
Ironman Copenhagen - Goal Sub 10 hours and top 3 in age group 20th August 2017
I am lucky enough to have been sponsored by some very special organisations. Please view their services
below. If you would like to sponsor me I would be very happy to discuss how this can be mutually beneficial.
Thank you for taking the time to read my Sport CV, if you
have any questions please do get in touch using the details
Tel. 07872 909 020
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