British Man Runs the Length of Africa in 10,000 Miles and 352 Days

Sore and sandblasted but triumphant, runner Russ Cook reached Africa’s northernmost point on Sunday, nearly a year after setting out from its southern tip on a quest to run the continent’s length.

Dozens of fans gathered on a rocky outcrop near the Mediterranean in northern Tunisia to cheer on the British charity fundraiser, who has raced over 16,000 kilometers (10,000 miles) across 16 countries in 352 days.

“I’m a little tired,” Cook admitted – perhaps an understatement. During his adventure, the 27-year-old endurance athlete from Worthing in southern England crossed jungle and desert, avoided conflict zones, and was delayed by theft, injury, and visa issues.

Cook, also known as Hardest Geezer on social media, will depart from Cape Agulhas in South Africa, the continent’s southernmost point, on April 22, 2023.

He wanted to complete the voyage in 240 days, running an average of more than a marathon per day.

In a gunpoint robbery in Angola, he and his squad lost money, passports, and equipment. He was temporarily halted in Nigeria due to back problems. And he was nearly stopped in his tracks by the lack of a visa to enter Algeria, but diplomatic intervention from the Algerian embassy in Britain secured the necessary documents.

Cook, who has spoken about how running has helped him cope with his own mental health issues, previously ran 3,000 kilometers (2,000 miles) from Istanbul to Worthing in 68 days.

His African journey has earned over 690,000 pounds ($870,000) for the Running nonprofit, which works with homeless youth, and Sandblast, a nonprofit that assists displaced persons from Western Sahara.

“It’s quite hard to put into words, 352 days on the road, a long time without seeing family, my girlfriend,” Cook told Sky News as he began running on Sunday, flanked by supporters who had traveled far and wide to join him on the last stretch. “My body is in a lot of pain.” I’m not going to moan for one more day.”

Cook claimed he planned to celebrate with a party where British band Soft Play was scheduled to perform.

“We’re going to have strawberry daiquiris on the beach tonight,” he told me. “It’s going to be unreal.”

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