Over a year ago Clague Architect, Josh Neal, took the decision to donate a kidney to a stranger to save the life of a family member.  After months of being tested, prodded and poked, the day finally came for the operation.  In January 2020, Josh underwent surgery to remove his kidney, which as a result, a long recovery period began.  https://www.clague.co.uk/news/good-luck-josh-such-an-amazing-cause/.


Everyone was looking forward to Josh’s return to work around Easter, with the doctor signing him off for longer than originally planned,  but as we all know, life changed drastically for all of us, and as a result Josh still hasn’t made it back to the office.  This meant that Josh was able to commence his fitness training, and he started running again.


With Josh’s determination, will to get back to the Office and commitment to charity, he decided he wanted to be part of the Clague reconnect relay, his part being a 13 mile run from Birchington to Canterbury, the longest run since his surgery.


Our Ultra Marathon runner was not convinced that the half marathon distance he had been allocated was enough for his contribution, he decided he was to do the return leg home to complete a marathon, 5 months post Kidney Donation, however this was not to be.

Knowing the run he had planned was much further than any other since his surgery, the longest being 6.2 miles,  Josh packed over 2000 kcals of home made energy bars and drinks, along with establishing a sensible strategy learnt from doing his Ultra training, of running for 30 minutes and walking for 5 minutes to conserve energy over the distance.

Things were going well, Josh achieved his first target and made it to Canterbury comfortably, now for the return journey.


On his way back Josh started to feel sick, with his wrists and hands now swollen, he realised something was not right.  From years of training and reading up on the things that can go wrong, he knew he had messed up his hydration, but he didn’t know how, so at this point he had to admit defeat and make the rest of the journey home by bus.

Upon returning home Josh began to recover and discovered that he was suffering from Hyponatremia, a shortage of electrolytes, along with the realisation that if he hadn’t taken the decision to get on the bus he would likely have ended up in hospital.

Luckily for all of us, Josh is fine and, other than stiff legs, he has come out of this unscathed.  We are extremely grateful for Josh’s contribution to the cause, and also that he knows his body well enough to know when to call it a day.

Josh’s story is a reminder that we shouldn’t take our bodies for granted and we are blessed with the luxury of being able to push ourselves further than we could imagine.  We also need to learn when we need to give ourselves chance to rest and recover.

We are also reminded of the cause, and that Josh did this predominantly to raise money for the Pilgrims Hospice, for those who may no longer have the luxury to run for miles and need the care and respite that they ultimately deserve.  Please find it in yourselves to donate to this amazing service.  Donations can be made on the following link https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/ClagueReconnect


Josh’s journey can teach us all about many things, but mostly we know this ‘everything that exists in your life does so because of two things; something you did or something you didn’t do’ – Albert Einstein

Let the baton pass to Architect, Charlotte Stone, where she makes her way from Canterbury to Faversham for leg number 13 of Clague Reconnect.

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