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From Cape Town to Cairo: One man's 10,000 mile journey running the length of Africa for charity

British runner Russ Cook celebrates with supporters after arriving to the finish line in Ras Angela, the most northern point of the African continent, in Tunis, Tunisia.
British runner Russ Cook celebrates with supporters after arriving to the finish line in Ras Angela, the most northern point of the African continent, in Tunis, Tunisia. (CREDIT: AP Photo/The Snapshot People LTD)


Triumphant but exhausted, runner Russ Cook reached the northernmost point of Africa after nearly a year of running from its southern tip on a mission to traverse the continent.


Dozens of supporters gathered on a rocky outcrop beside the Mediterranean in northern Tunisia to cheer on the British charity fundraiser. Cook covered more than 16,000 kilometers (10,000 miles) across 16 countries in 352 days.


 
 

“I'm a little bit tired,” Cook said, downplaying his exhaustion.


During his journey, the 27-year-old endurance athlete from Worthing in southern England encountered various challenges, including navigating jungles, deserts, and conflict zones. He faced setbacks such as theft, injury, and visa issues.


Cook, also known as Hardest Geezer on social media, embarked on his journey on April 22, 2023.
Cook, also known as Hardest Geezer on social media, embarked on his journey on April 22, 2023. (CREDIT: AP Photo/The Snapshot People LTD)


Cook, also known as Hardest Geezer on social media, embarked on his journey on April 22, 2023, from Cape Agulhas in South Africa. His goal was to complete the trek in 240 days, averaging more than a marathon's distance each day.


 
 

He and his team experienced a robbery at gunpoint in Angola, which resulted in the loss of money, passports, and equipment. Back pain temporarily halted his progress in Nigeria. Additionally, a lack of a visa nearly derailed his plans in Algeria, but intervention from the Algerian embassy in Britain facilitated the necessary documents.


British runner Russ Cook arrives to the finish line in Ras Angela, the most northern point of the African continent.
British runner Russ Cook arrives to the finish line in Ras Angela, the most northern point of the African continent. (CREDIT: AP Photo/The Snapshot People LTD)


Running has been a coping mechanism for Cook, who has openly discussed his mental health struggles. Previously, he ran approximately 3,000 kilometers (2,000 miles) from Istanbul to Worthing in 68 days.


 
 

His African expedition raised over 690,000 pounds ($870,000) for the Running Charity, aiding homeless youth, and Sandblast, a charity supporting displaced people from Western Sahara.


British runner Russ Cook, center, celebrates with supporters after arriving to the finish line in Ras Angela, the most northern point of the African continent, in Tunis, Tunisia.
British runner Russ Cook, center, celebrates with supporters after arriving to the finish line in Ras Angela, the most northern point of the African continent, in Tunis, Tunisia. (CREDIT: AP Photo/The Snapshot People LTD)


Reflecting on his journey, Cook expressed gratitude for the support he received from friends and family. Despite the physical toll on his body, he remained resolute, stating, “My body is in a lot of pain. But one more day, I’m not about to complain.”


 
 

Cook intended to mark the occasion with a celebration, featuring a performance by the British band Soft Play.


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






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Note: Materials provided above by The Brighter Side of News. Content may be edited for style and length.


 
 

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