And Bailey Matthews has now revealed that he will be returning to the Castle Howard Triathlon in North Yorkshire, a year after footage of him taking part in the event went viral online.
Bailey, who has cerebral palsy, was shown bravely overcoming the limits of his condition to complete a swim, bike ride and run at the event last July.
Despite stumbling twice on his way to the finish line, he picked himself up and ran the final 20 metres of the course without his walking frame.
The video of him abandoning his walking aid to cross the finish line, first posted on The Yorkshire Post website, was viewed on Facebook more than 27 million times in just a few weeks.
Since then, Bailey has been awarded a Pride of Britain Award, the BBC Helen Rollason Sports Personality of the Year Award and met celebrities including David Beckham and Simon Cowell.
He is hoping to repeat his achievements after entering the Castle Howard Triathlon again this year. The annual event is being held for the seventh time this year and takes place on July 23/24, with triathletes taking part over a range of different distances in the 13,000 acre grounds of Castle Howard.
Bailey’s father, Jono Matthews said: “Bailey sees himself to be no different to others and just wants to give everything a go.
“He did exactly that at Castle Howard Triathlon and will be back to do more this year. The beauty of triathlon and the Castle Triathlon Series events are that they give access to all and that’s why the sport and these events are top of our calendar this year, all levels take part and no one is singled out. Training is in full flow and Bailey cant wait to take part.”
During last year’s event, hundreds of people stayed behind to watch Bailey finish and roared their encouragement as he stepped away from his specially-adapted walking frame to finish the last 20 metres of the race unaided.
His mother Julie Hardcastle told The Yorkshire Post: “You can see his little face when he came round and saw everyone, that was his way of finishing in style and showing everyone what he could do. It was the response from the crowd that pushed him to do that.”
Bailey, from Worksop, was born nine weeks early and diagnosed at 18 months old with a form of cerebral palsy, a neurological condition that affects movement and co-ordination, making every-day tasks much more difficult.
His journey to taking on one of the country’s most difficult triathlon courses started when his father Jonathan Matthews, himself a keen triathlete, started pushing him in a wheelchair round a five kilometre course at a weekly parkrun event.
For more information about the event and others in the Castle Triathlon series, visit www.castletriathlonseries.co.uk.