British Man Nicknamed the “Hardest Geezer” Runs the Length of Africa in 352 Days


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A post shared by Russ Cook (@hardestgeezer)

It took Russ Cook 352 days to run the length of the African continent. The 27-year-old Englishman from West Sussex departed from South Africa on April 22, 2023, and on Sunday, he made it to the Tunisian coast, bringing his adventure to an end. In total, Cook covered 9,940 miles (16,000 kilometers) in his run, and averaged about 47 miles (or 65 kilometers) a day, only taking days off due to logistical or medical issues.

Cook, who has been dubbed the “Hardest Geezer” thanks to his Instagram username, underwent a perilous journey to complete his goal, but he was far from alone. Dozens of loyal fans from around the world flew in to watch Cook finish his run on Sunday, and before then, he had a skeleton crew that assisted him during his run. He has since amassed over 1 million followers on Instagram, many of whom watched for his daily updates as he made his way across the continent. A small team of editors also tagged along with Cook and posted his videos to his YouTube, which now boasts over 195,000 subscribers.

Over his nearly year-long trek, Cook raised more than $965,000 for various charities and remained positive, even when he realized he would not meet his goal of having the run finished in time for Christmas. The runner also had other problems come up, including him being robbed at gunpoint and getting lost in the rainforest, as well as having to deal with sandstorms in the middle of the Sahara Desert. Regardless, nothing could stop him from achieving his dreams.

As it turns out, however, the problems for Cook did not stop after his run was completed. Recently, a 52-year-old ultra-marathoner from Denmark named Jesper Kenn Olsen has come forward and claimed that he actually completed the same run as Cook in 2010, making him the first person to ever run the length of Africa. Despite the controversy, Olsen has displayed good sportsmanship and told reporters that even though Cook may not be the first, “he's definitely the fastest.”

Cook's story has since made it onto Reddit and gone viral, with users chiming in with their thoughts. One Redditor states, “And then there’s me who while in shape still gets winded eating a sandwich sometimes. Kudos to this man.” Maybe Cook's accomplishment can be an inspiration to us all.

Russ Cook just finished a 352-day run across the continent of Africa, traveling approximately 9,940 miles on foot.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Russ Cook (@hardestgeezer)

Over his nearly year-long expedition, Cook was accompanied by a small support team, including editors who routinely posted videos showing his experiences. You can watch the YouTube video from the second to last day of his run below.

Russ Cook: Instagram | YouTube
h/t: [Reddit]

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Sarah Currier

Sarah Currier is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Based in central Iowa, she is currently enrolled at Iowa State University and is working toward a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in English. She loves all things creative, and when she’s not writing, you can find her immersed in the worlds of television, film, and literature.
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