Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Jessica Ennis-Hill to join Captain Tobias's marathon

Jessica Ennis-Hill Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Sheffield's Jessica Ennis-Hill said she would join nine-year-old Tobias as he completed his challenge

Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill is to join a nine-year-old boy with cerebral palsy and autism at the final stage of his second marathon.

Tobias Weller, known as Captain Tobias, has already used a walker to cover 26.2 miles (42km) over 70 days on the street where he lives in Sheffield.

He is now in the final stages of running a marathon using a race runner.

Sheffield athlete Ennis-Hill, who won heptathlon gold in 2012, has now agreed to join him for the final stint.

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Tobias is hoping to complete his challenge near his home on Saturday.

His efforts have helped him raise more than £133,000 so far which will be shared between Sheffield Children's Hospital and the Paces School, Tobias's special school in the city.

Image copyright Tobias's Marathon Challenges
Image caption Tobias's mum said he was "giddy beyond belief"

Tobias's mum Ruth Garbutt said: "We're delighted that Jess has said she'll come along on Saturday and race with Tobias.

"He's absolutely thrilled and giddy beyond belief."

Tobias said: "I'm chuffed to bits that Jess has said she'll race with me but... I'm not going to give her a head start."

He gained the moniker Captain Tobias in reference to his inspiration, Captain Sir Tom Moore, who sent a message of congratulations when his fundraising passed the £100,000 mark.

He was congratulated by Boris Johnson last month, when he was given the Points of Light award, which recognises people who are making a change in their community.

Mrs Garbutt added: "It will have taken 40 days and his last one took 70. We've had a few rest days - about one a week - because it's more intense.

"When he runs, he runs in short bursts, then walks for a bit."

Tobias has even made a range of t-shirts with his phrase "chuffed to bits", which he is selling to raise money and awareness.

Jessica Ennis-Hill, 34, grew up in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, taking home her first official medal at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006.

She retired from athletics in 2016 and now commentates for the BBC.

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