'Captain' Tobias completes Ironman Challenge to applause from family and friends at finish line
A one-of-a-kind Sheffield boy was cheered across the finish line at his local park today as he completed his year-long effort to conquer the Ironman Challenge.
Inspirational fundraiser ‘Captain’ Tobias Weller was applauded by over a hundred supporters made up of his family and friends in Millhouses Park on Sunday.
It marks the end of the latest epic feat by the 10-year-old, who has celebral palsy and autism and who raised over £150,000 through challenges during lockdown.
In his latest achievement, the Captain has spent over a year powering through the grueling triathlon made up of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile trick ride and a 26-mile marathon, and has raised £1,155 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital and Paces School.
At the finish line today, Tobias said: “It feels magnificent. I loved crossing the finish line, hearing all the crowd clap and cheer for me. It made me feel amazing.
“This challenge has taken me over a year complete. I’m so excited I’ve finally reached my goal. I feel awesome.”
For the final leg of the trike ride today, Tobias set off from his home Strelley Avenue and pedaled to the park with the support of dozens of friends and family wearing t-shirts emblazoned with his signature catchphrase, “Chuffed to Bits.”
On the route, countless motorists blared their horns in support of the 10-year-old and his mum, Ruth Garbett.
On the walk, two friends of the family, Linda Stratford and Janet Jackson, told the Star the young lad was “an inspiration”.
Janet said: “We’ve both known Tobias since the day he was born. We’ve seen his journey and they are both amazing – as a mum, Ruth is second to none.
Linda said: “It’s amazing to see how much joy he brings to everyone, even just these cars passing by.
"He’s come on leaps and bounds. At the start of the lockdown he was a shy boy, he has so much confidence now.”
Mum Ruth said: “I am absolutely bursting with pride for my little boy.
“It’s his third challenge but it’s an Ironman. He’s triked 180km, he’s swum 4km and he’s run the length of a full marathon.
“We could never have dreamed he might be able to do things like that and he’s done it and that makes me so so proud of him.”
Tobias is already planning his next fundraising adventure, where he hopes to encourage thousands of children across the city to complete a kilometre in any challenging way they can.
Ruth said: “I don’t think I’m going to be able to stop him from wanting to carry on setting himself challenges and meeting his targets and raising lots of money for charity”.
The 10-year-old star announced the Ironman challenge during Sports Personality of the Year 2020, where he won the Captain Sir Tom Moore Young Unsung Hero Award.
Swim! on Archer Road and Virgin Gym Millhouses allowed him to use their pools for free to complete the swimming section of the challenge.
It comes after Tobias completed his first marathon in March 2020 over 70 days using a walker. He complete his second marathon over 40 days in August 2020.