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Man Conquers Africa on Foot, Raises $1M for Charity



Quick Smiles:

  • Russ Cook, known as Britain’s “Hardest Geezer,” has completed a 10,000-mile run across Africa, spanning 16 countries in 352 days.
  • Despite facing armed robbery, kidnapping, and harsh elements, Cook’s determination led him to the finish line in Tunisia.
  • Cook’s epic journey has raised nearly $1 million for homeless young people and clean water in Africa.

A British man has taken charity runs to an unprecedented level. Russ Cook, 27, has successfully completed a year-long mission to run the length of Africa, proving that determination and grit can conquer even the most daunting challenges.

Covering approximately 10,000 miles from the southern to the northern coasts of Africa, Cook’s journey took him through 16 countries in 352 days. Despite the threats of thieves, kidnappers, and the unforgiving elements, he persevered, traversing jungles, deserts, and everything in between.

Cook’s journey was not without its trials. In Angola, he and his team faced an armed robbery, losing their money, passports, and equipment to bandits. “Scariest moment was in the Congo, when I was on the back of a motorbike, thinking I was about to die,” he shared on social media. “Getting driven into the jungle, yeah — that was pretty nuts.”

Despite these challenges, Cook, who calls himself the “Hardest Geezer,” kept his spirits high and his feet moving. He documented his journey on Instagram, sharing the rigors of his epic run. “Getting hit with another sandstorm this morning — sucking oxygen, chewing sand for breakfast,” he posted. “They’re tryin’ to get me gone but they just can’t.”

Cook’s journey was not a solitary one. He invited people from all over the world to join him on his quest. American Blake Warren was one such individual who took up the call. “I saw it and he said everybody can come. I literally got on Skyscanner, I looked for a ticket and, 20 minutes later, I bought the ticket and here I am,” he said from Tunisia.

Warren was not alone in recognizing the significance of Cook’s journey. “I just couldn’t miss a crazy historic opportunity like this,” he said after participating in the last leg of the run.


Cook’s incredible journey has not only tested his physical and mental limits but also raised nearly $1 million for homeless young people and clean water for Africa. However, there is some debate over whether Cook is the first person to run the entire length of Africa. The World Runners Association claims one of its founders accomplished this feat in 2010, but Cook maintains his trek was longer.

Regardless of the debate, Cook celebrated his achievement in his own way. He ended his run by taking a refreshing dip in the Mediterranean and savoring a strawberry daiquiri, a fitting tribute to his incredible journey.