Boy, 14, with no arms finishes Chicago triathlon in under an hour

CHICAGO (WLS) -- With waves crashing on Foster Beach as the starting horn blared, Tim Bannon energetically rushed into the water for the start of the LifeTime Kids Tri.

His triathlon step-off sent a message around the world.

"Doesn't matter if you're mentally, physically disabled," said Tim, telling kids everywhere "you can do it."

The 14-year-old born without arms is proof of that inspiring message. He navigated the intense three-stage race, which included biking 7 kilometers and running a 2-kilometer race.

The Hillside teen, who was featured completing a 20-inch box jump in a video that went viral, admitted he was "pretty tired," functioning thanks to "a lot of adrenaline."

RELATED: Hillside boy, 14, with no arms goes viral after successful box jump

Before choppy waters forced a course change, he was ready to swim too.

"I just wanted to get this all done to make myself proud and make my parents proud," Tim said.

The teen saw internet fame in July after he landed a 20-inch box jump at NubAbility camp for limb-different youth. Some of Tim's NubAbility coaches, who face their own challenges, traveled to Chicago from downstate Du Quoin for support in the triathlon.

"He's changed my life just knowing him," said Brad Vinyard, the NubAbility head strength coach who was also in Tim's viral video.

"Tim has opened us up to different countries, places where kids are shunned," said NubAbility founder Sam Kuhnert, adding that the camp's message is, "It's a difference not a disability."

Tim's mom, who was born with the same limb difference as her son, echoes that sentiment and wants other parents to see what sports can do for limb-different kids.

Linda Bannon hopes her son will keep "pushing the envelope and moving on to the next thing and moving forward."

On Saturday, Tim raced ahead with dozens watching, finishing his first triathlon in under an hour.

"When I saw that finish line, I was like 'I'm going, I'm going, I'm gone,'" he said.
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