Fundraising athlete enjoys lasagne during royal ‘pit stop’ at Clarence House
The Prince of Wales offered his own home for Josh Llewellyn-Jones to take a shower and a hot meal before the final stage of his journey.
A record-breaking endurance athlete has enjoyed a royal “pit stop” on his latest challenge of swimming, cycling and running 381 miles to raise money for cystic fibrosis research.
Josh Llewellyn-Jones, 32, took a break at Clarence House – home to the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall – after completing a 200-mile cycle from Dover to St James’s in central London.
Mr Llewellyn-Jones was diagnosed with the degenerative disease as a newborn and was told he would not see his thirties, but credits his passion for exercise with keeping him alive.
Cystic fibrosis affects the lungs, liver and kidneys, and among other things involves the excessive production of mucus – exercise helps the condition because it helps clear the mucus out of the body.
Mr Llewellyn-Jones’s previous feats include lifting a record-breaking one million kilograms of weight in a day, and his fundraising efforts earned him an OBE for services to cystic fibrosis awareness earlier this year.
He is now partway through his latest endurance attempt – a 21-mile swim at Dover District Leisure Centre, the 200-mile cycle from Dover to London and now a 160-mile run back to his home in Cardiff.
His very extreme triathlon has so far raised £10,000 for his own charity CF Warriors, and Rays of Sunshine, which helps grant wishes for seriously ill children.
He began on Monday and is attempting to complete the whole thing in just five days – without any sleep.
Charles was so impressed after meeting him this summer that he offered his own home for Mr Llewellyn-Jones to take a shower and a hot meal before the final stage of his journey.
Although the prince was not present, Mr Llewellyn-Jones received a letter of congratulations from the royal and he and his team sat down to a meal of Welsh beef lasagne to help them load up on carbs.
Speaking to the PA news agency at Clarence House, he explained: “Exercise helps the mucus on my lungs – it forces me to breathe deeply and the very small airways are hard to get to, the harder you breathe they open up and clear.”
He said he had been amazed to receive the invite to Clarence House and described the lasagne as the best he had ever tasted.
When asked what he would say to youngsters with the disease, he said: “With exercise, it’s not just about physical health and wellbeing, it’s about your mental health and wellbeing.
“When you go out with your friends on your own, you naturally feel better about yourself when you finish.
“I’m not saying exercise the way I do, because that’s pretty extreme, but if you can get kids moving, that can only be a good thing.”
Mr Llewellyn-Jones’s father Adrian said when his son was young, a doctor had advised “just run the legs off him”.
“The doctor said when he’s absolutely tired out, pick him up and run the legs off him again,” he added.
The CF Warriors charity now works to inspire children with the disease to exercise and give them hope for their future.
Mr Llewellyn-Jones’s mother Dawn said watching her son’s challenges was both “nerve-wracking and exciting”.
“It’s especially nerve-wracking when he says he’s going to go for five days without sleep,” she said.
Mr Llewellyn-Jones is due to set off on his run on Tuesday night and complete his challenge at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on Friday evening.