Russ Cook: ‘Hardest Geezer’ who ran length of Africa to run London Marathon

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Russ Cook is believed to be the first person to run the entire length of Africa from the most southerly point to the most northerly point.

YouTuber Russ Cook, also known as the “Hardest Geezer” is set to run the London Marathon after recently running the entire 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.

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The 27-year-old raised over £946,000 for the Running Charity and Sandblast for his mammoth efforts.

Mr Cook is believed to be the first person to run the entire length of Africa from the most southerly point to the most northerly point.

He is now back home in the UK and set to take on his next running challenge: the TCS London Marathon.

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Russ Cook at the finish line in TunisiaRuss Cook at the finish line in Tunisia
Russ Cook at the finish line in Tunisia | AFP via Getty Images

Mr Cook told JaackMaate’s Happy Hour podcast he would be running the 26.2-mile race alongside younger runners.

He said: “There are a few young people running, so I’m going to pace someone if they want to do a sub-four-hour or something. But I ain’t got a fast one in me, I won’t lie.

“In terms of my next big challenge, it’s going to be a hard one to top. And I don’t really want to be away for another year.”

Mr Cook said he plans to run the Marathon des Sables next year which is a seven-day race across the Sahara Desert.

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The Youtuber set off from the most southerly point of South Africa on April 22, 2023, with the challenge taking him through countries such as Namibia, Nigeria and Ghana

He crossed the finish line on April 8 in Ras Angela, Tunisia and was met by crowds who had gathered for support.

He faced dangerous moments in his almost year-long journey. In Angola both he and his team were robbed at gunpoint, with their phones and passport taken, along with the camera they had been using to vlog the challenge on YouTube.

Mr Cook 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.

The London Marathon will take place on Sunday April 21.

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Other notable participants include former British-Iranian hostage Anoosheh Ashoori, who will be running for a third time and, a team of Ukrainian marines.

Celebrity runners include actress Ruth Wilson and comedian Romesh Ranganathan.

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