Inspirational young fundraiser Tobias Weller near his home in Sheffield (Danny Lawson/PA)
Inspirational young fundraiser “Captain Tobias” said he feels “magnificent” after finishing his latest challenge – an Ironman which has taken him a year to complete.
Tobias Weller, 10, was cheered by dozens of supporters in Millhouses Park, Sheffield on Sunday after riding the final leg of the 180km trike component of the feat, leaving him “chuffed to bits”.
The Sheffield boy completed the final few metres of his 4km swimming challenge at the city’s Ponds Forge international pool on Saturday.
Tobias, who has cerebral palsy and autism, was nicknamed “captain” after he was inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore to start raising money during the pandemic lockdowns.
This is the third challenge he has completed, so far raising more than £150,000 for his school and Sheffield Children’s Hospital’s charity.
Tobias announced his Ironman challenge during the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year show in December, when he won the inaugural Captain Sir Tom Moore Young Unsung Hero Award and met the 100-year-old.
After crossing the finish line, Tobias said: “It feels magnificent.
“This challenge has taken me over a year complete.
“And I’m so excited I’ve finally reached my goal. I feel awesome”.
And he repeated his catchphrase, saying he was “chuffed to bits”.
Tobias said: “I loved crossing the finish line, hearing all the crowd clap and cheer for me. It made me feel amazing.
“Of course, I’ve had lots (of) exciting experiences throughout my challenge but the highlight has to be meeting my hero, Captain Sir Tom Moore.”
Tobias said: “I like pushing myself as hard as I can and enjoying myself at the same time so completing challenges lets me do this.
“But completing an Ironman was really hard. Each leg is such a long way and each time I completed a leg I was exhausted.”
Tobias captured the attention of the nation when he started his first marathon using a walker in March 2020, shortly after the pandemic struck.
He finished 70 days later and, in June 2020, started a second one, this time using a race runner loaned from CPTeens.
He has since been gifted a race runner from Quest 88, and Jiraffe gave him his trike for the next challenge.
Tobias’s mum Ruth Garbutt 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.”
She said: “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.”
Ms Garbutt 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”.
Tobias said he is looking forward to a rest but is planning a new challenge, which will involve inviting lots of people to complete a kilometre in any way they can “but it has to be challenging to them”.
Tobias has split the money he has raised between Paces School in Sheffield – which he attends – and The Children’s Hospital Charity, which has said it is spending its share on a children’s exercise and physical activity therapist post at its Ryegate Centre in the city.