‘Captain Tobias’ completes epic marathon challenge as fund reaches £50,000

A ‘ginormous’ journey that started 70 days ago came to an end on Sunday to rapturous cheers and an astonishing fundraising total of more than £50,000.

Sunday, 31st May 2020, 4:23 pm
Updated Sunday, 31st May 2020, 7:52 pm

Nine-year-old Tobias Weller, who has cerebral palsy and uses a walking frame, completed his epic marathon challenge on Sunday surrounded by family, friends and well-wishers.

‘Captain Tobias’ as he has become known in honour of inspirational WWII veteran Colonel Tom Moore set himself the target after being unable to take part in a 1km charity walk because of coronavirus.

But undeterred, he set his sights on the much bigger prize of completing a 26.2 mile marathon on the streets outside his Beauchief house, 750 metres at a time.

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Tobias Weller (photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire).

Before lockdown began, Tobias - who is also autistic - could only manage around 50 metres per day.

However, thanks to the support of his family and dozens of neighbours who have turned out every day to cheer him on, he finally completed the daunting distance shortly before 1pm on Sunday.

Tobias said he felt ‘magnificent’ that he had finished the walk and ‘chuffed to bits’ that he had raised so much money.

He said: "I can't believe I completed a marathon. It's just awesome."

Tobias and some of his supporters (photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire).

He added: "I love it when my neighbours clap and cheer for me and getting stronger and stronger every day is such a good feeling."

Tobias's mother, Ruth Garbutt, said they were going to continue walking and would now aim to reach 50km.

She said: "I'm so, so pleased that he's completed his marathon. He's done really well. He's tried so hard all the way through. He's really achieved a massive goal.

"I'm bursting with pride for my little boy. He's just magnificent."

Tobias on the final stretch of his marathon challenge (photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire).

On Sunday, Tobias was given encouragement by an array of Sheffield stars from the worlds of sport and entertainment including BBC television presenter Dan Walker, Olympic gold medalist Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill and England footballer Esme Morgan.

The money raised will help The Children's Hospital Charity through its emergency Covid-19 appeal and Paces School, a special school which Tobias himself attends.

Donations can still be made to Tobias at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ruth-garbutt-3.