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Why a man ran the full length of Africa in 352 days

Russell Cook, known as the "Hardest Geezer," ran from one end of Africa to another. He crossed the finish line in Tunisia after 352 days.

Hardest Geezer ran across Africa for 352 days [Asaaseradio]

On April 22, 2023, Russell Cook embarked on a 240-day journey from Cape Agulhas, South Africa to Tunisia, aiming to run a marathon daily.

Why did he do it? The 27-year-old endurance athlete struggled with mental health, gambling, and drinking. He wanted to make a difference and raise over £700,000 for money for Water Aid UK and The Running Charity Charity, and he did!

The journey was not without challenges. He had his first significant setback when cameras, phones, cash, passports, and visas were stolen in Angola.

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By day 45, he experienced back pain and was forced to take a rest day after urine tests revealed blood and protein. In Nigeria, he was advised to reduce his mileage and intensity, missing consecutive days on 205 and 206. Despite the pain, he used the strongest painkillers available and remained determined to continue his journey.

An Algerian immigration issue delayed Cook's goal to run 360 in 240 marathons from South Africa to Tunisia.

A public appeal video on X garnered 11 million views, attracting attention from Elon Musk, MPs Tim Loughton and Alexander Stafford, and the Home Office. The UK's Algerian embassy announced a courtesy visa for Cook.

Last Sunday, April 7 2024, he set off for Tunisia's northerly point, joined by supporters worldwide, and completed the challenge. He passed 16 borders to get to victory.

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He is not the first person to complete the challenge; Jesper Kenn Olsen, a Danish athlete, was the first to run the length of Africa during his "world run."

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