Crawl before you run: Paul's story

How does spending hours crawling up UK's tallest mountains sound? Not that appealing? Well, that's exactly what Paul Ellis is doing. And he does it all for a good cause.

The expeditions

Paul’s appetite for the great outdoors started in 2011, three years after his amputations, when he climbed Ben Nevis, UK’s tallest mountain. Same year he climbed Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales. A few more peaks were added to the list in 2012. At that time he climbed to fundraise for Marie Curie Cancer Care – and he climbed on prosthetic legs.

“I just like to give something back. Plus, it’s just fantastic to get out there. You’ll be in the open and it’s just an amazing feeling getting to the top.”

Now Paul is raising funds for AmpCamp Kids – an organization run by Ben Lovell, which seeks to secure funds for kids with limb differences to go on holiday. That’s when the idea about crawling up the mountains came to him.

“I met Ben Lovell who was climbing a mountain and I asked if I could come along with him and his group. I could keep up with them, so they went along with it. Since then we’ve been everywhere. That’s when I discovered AmpCamp, and I just want to help them out as much as possible.”

The group has done Brecon Beacons, Ben Nevis, Mt. Snowdon 2 times and lately on Scafell Pike – the latter on all fours. The crawl up Ben Nevis took him 12 hours.

Body and mind
Discovering running blades

Paul has been an amputee since 2008 after a work related accident resulted in a serious spinal injury in 1992. Paul heard about Levitate from Ben Lovell and Debbie McQuat, two of our long-time blade runners.

“Debbie has been out climbing quite a few times, so watching her and Ben on their legs inspired me to do something about it.”

Paul didn’t know much about running prosthetics in general prior to getting his running blades. He’s always wanted to start running on blades though, but he never thought it was relevant to him because of his age. Since Paul couldn’t afford the blades, we got him in touch with the Sian Green Foundation, which funds Levitate running blades for amputees in the UK. Now Paul has a shiny pair of running blades – for the first time in his life.

“I dreamt about running and obviously now the dream has come true thanks to Sian Lord-Green – she’s fantastic.”

His journey continues

So what’s next for Paul? Mount Teide in Spain? Or perhaps Kilimanjaro? No matter where his path takes him, we’re thrilled to follow him on his journey.