Russ Cook: 'Hardest Geezer' crosses finish line following gruelling charity challenge to run length of Africa

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The Worthing native spent 352 days running from the most southernly point in Africa to the most northerly point for charity

YouTuber Russ Cook, also known as ‘Hardest Geezer’, has crossed the finish line to end his gruelling challenge to run the length of Africa.

Mr Cook, from Worthing in West Sussex, spent 352 days running the length of the continent. He travelled more than 16,000km, took over 19 million steps and passed through 16 countries during the charity fundraising challenge. Mr Cook has raised more than £750,000 at the time of writing, with funds set to be split between organisations The Running Charity and Sandblast.

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He crossed the finish line at around 4.40pm on Sunday, April 8 in Ras Angela, Tunisia and was met by crowds who had gathered to support and push him over the finish line. Mr Cook had set off from the most southernly point of South Africa on April 22, 2023, with the challenge taking him through countries such as Namibia, Nigeria and Ghana. He believed himself to be the first person to run the entire length of Africa from the most southerly point to the most northerly point.

He faced dangerous moments in his almost year-long journey. In Angola both he and his team were robbed at gunpoint, with their phones, passport and camera which they had been using to vlog the challenge on YouTube stolen. Mr Cook also reportedly went missing in the jungle of the Democratic Republic of the Congo after being separated from his group. They were forced to pay off villagers armed with machetes to free him.

His incredible feat was celebrated with a party at a hotel in Bizerte, Tunisia, with British punk band Soft Play set to perform. Mr Cook told his follower on X (formerly Twitter): “Can’t quite believe it but we’ve managed to pull off Soft Play playing the finish line party in Tunisia.

“Anyone who can get themselves there is welcome. Get your daiquiris ready girls and boys this is gonna be mega.”

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