Absolute Backbone Nicknamed ‘Worlds Hardest Geezer’ Runs the Length of Africa

Publish Date
Monday, 8 April 2024, 1:19PM

Almost one year after he started, traversing mountains, deserts, and rainforest across 16 countries, Russ Cook, known the world over as the Hardest Geezer, has completed his challenge to run the entire length of Africa.

The task of covering the distance, equating to more than 385 marathons, was initially planned to end by Christmas.

Instead the 16,300km journey ended up taking 352 days and forced the Ginger Lad from Worthing to overcome numerous dramatic twists, life-threatening situations and unforgiving conditions on his route north from South Africa to Tunisia's Mediterranean coast.

In what can only be described as a movie, Cook and his team were robbed at gunpoint, faced frustrating border delays and received police escorts along the way. He has struggled on through illness, injury and unforgiving terrain.

He claims to be the first person to have ever run the full length of the continent and has so far raised more than £600,000 (over 1.2mil NZD) for his chosen charities in completing the remarkable endurance feat.

Admitting he had shed a few tears at the start of the final day, he took a moment to stare at the horizon with his hands on his head.

He was joined for his closing 44km by many who have been captivated by his journey over the past 12 months, before he was at last reunited with family, friends and his partner as he reached the finish, the prospect of which he said had felt for so long like "some mystical event".

Get this man a bloody BACKBONE t-shirt

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