Russ Cook: The Man Who Ran the Length of Africa

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Russ Cook

If your determination is true and you work hard for it, nothing can stop you. Numerous examples around us are known for breaking records and setting new benchmarks for others. But some are known for breaking their records and luring the world’s attention.  One such name is Russ Cook, who is currently trending on social media and people are excitedly talking about him. So who is Russ Cook and what he has done that makes him a subject of discussion on social media? 

Who Is Russ Cook?

 Russ Cook hails from Worthing, West Sussex popularly known as “Hardest Geezer”. He recently set a record which is quite hard for other runners to break and inspiring others by making a unique way of raising funds for charities. He claims to be the first to run the length of Africa. It took a year for him to achieve his goal and people supported him throughout his journey of making a new record. According to multiple reports, last year, the British runner took the toughest challenge of running to the length of Africa and after almost a year he proved himself and completed his challenges. 

With the cheering up of dozens of supporters, Cook completed his run after reaching Ras Anegla, Tunisia on Sunday, April 7 2024. It is worth noting that Ras Angela is the most northern point of the continent of Africa.  The runner set off from the southern tip and ended in northern Tunisia. As soon as he reached his destination, the place was thunderstorm with the applause of supporters who were desperately waiting for him beside the Mediterranean in northern Tunisia. 

He started his journey on April 22, 2023, and covered 16,000 km (9,941 miles) from the southern point, Cape Agulhas, South Africa, and finished on April 7, 2024, in Ras Angela, Tunisia. He is believed to be the first person who made this record. In an interview with a media outlet, the British runner said, “It was good, I’m a bit tired.” The Britisher runner crossed 16 countries and covered the distance of around 376 marathons. 

All along his journey, Cook faced numerous challenges passing through jungle and desert-swerved conflict zones. He was even interrupted by theft, encountered visa problems and also got injured. But at last, he fulfilled his challenge and raised millions of dollars for two charities. However, he hoped to complete his journey within 240 days but due to various factors, it took 352 days to complete the challenge. While recalling one of the incidents during his journey, he told the reporters that he and his team became the prey of robbery in Angola. Their money, equipment and passports were robbed at gunpoint. In Nigeria, he was forced to take a break due to back pain. 

One of the supporters who ran some of the distance with the 27-year-old runner said “The realisation that my wife got pregnant, had a baby and we now have a two-month-old in the time he’s done this puts it into perspective. It left me speechless.”

Cook also made a Tweet on X before reaching the finish line which reads, “Can’t believe it’s nearly over. See you at the shell garage soon boys & girls.” 

With his journey, he has raised $870,000 for two separate charities, The Running Charity, and Sandblast. The Running Charity helps homeless young people whereas Sandblast helps displaced individuals from Western Sahara. 

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