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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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The highs and lows of brave Joe’s epic journey

AN inspiring athlete who survived a 40-metre fall embarked on an epic challenge in September and had his amazing story shown on the big screen.

ON FILM Joe Beaumont and his dog Bodhi at their home in the Matson Ground, Windermere HARRY ATKINSON REF: 50035692B001

Joe Beaumont suffered extreme concussion, nerve damage and broke most of the bones on the right side of his body as a result of a horror plunge in Eskdale in March 2011.

The Windermere man has since undergone multiple operations and surgical procedures and still faces physical and psychological challenges. But in September, he attempted to ride hundreds of miles from the lowest point in the UK to the highest on a specially-designed recumbent trike – while still wearing a surgical frame on his injured leg – to raise money for mountain rescue.

He made the brave decision to stop rather than climbing the epic last stretch – Ben Nevis – but the documentary of his journey, In the Frame, premiered to acclaim at Kendal Mountain Festival in November.

Reflecting on stopping short of Ben Nevis, Joe said: “Cycling 550 miles to get there was epic, painful, exciting, incredible, poetic and beautiful. We realised that to walk up the highest mountain in the UK, in the frame, could be reckless. One slip could have serious consequences for my future healing and that isn’t something we felt we should risk.

“I feel proud to have made this decision. I set this challenge while still in hospital, dreaming about getting better, thinking I’d be far more mobile then I actually am right now.

“The challenge was lowest to highest, literally and metaphorically, and I realise now that the highest point in my recovery is yet to be reached.

“I’ll come back for the Ben when I have healed and can walk without fear of falling.”

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