Russ Cook, popularly known as the Hardest Geezer, has achieved an extraordinary milestone: completing a grueling journey spanning the entire length of Africa. After almost a year of traversing deserts, mountains, and forests across 16 countries, Cook, a 27-year-old adventurer from Worthing, has conquered a remarkable 16,300-kilometer trek, exceeding 385 marathons.

Originally slated to conclude by Christmas, Cook’s odyssey extended to 352 days, marked by a series of daunting challenges and unexpected twists. From facing the threat of armed robbery to enduring border delays and battling through illness and injury, Cook’s determination remained unyielding throughout his expedition.

Supported by his dedicated team and a legion of followers on social media, where his journey was extensively chronicled, Cook pressed on, fueled by his commitment to raising funds for charitable causes. His efforts have garnered over £650,000, a significant stride toward his £1 million fundraising goal.

Photo © AP Photo

Commencing on April 22, 2023, from the coastal village of L’Agulhas, South Africa, Cook charted his course through Namibia, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Senegal, Mauritania, and Algeria.


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Encountering numerous hurdles along the way, including a harrowing incident of armed robbery on day 64 and battling through bouts of food poisoning, flu, and injuries, Cook’s resilience shone brightly. Despite a back injury that momentarily threatened to derail his mission, Cook pushed forward, aided by the unwavering support of his team and the generosity of strangers.

Photo © hardestgeezer/Instagram

Navigating visa challenges and border complexities, particularly during the transition from Mauritania to Algeria, Cook turned to social media, mobilizing support from British lawmakers and securing the necessary permits to continue his journey.

Entering the Sahara beyond the 300-day mark, Cook faced formidable sandstorms and snowstorms, enduring physical strain and logistical setbacks. Equipped with sheer determination and unwavering resolve, he pressed onward, ultimately reaching Tunisia’s northern point at Ras ben Sakka on day 352.

Joined by a host of admirers and well-wishers for his final leg, Cook’s journey culminated in an emotional reunion with loved ones. Reflecting on his momentous achievement, he acknowledged the emotional weight of the journey’s end, a long-awaited milestone that had once seemed distant and surreal.

In Tunisia, Russ Cook nears the finish line
Photo © Getty

Russ Cook’s epic expedition serves as a testament to the indomitable human spirit and the power of perseverance in the face of adversity. His remarkable feat will inspire generations to come, reminding us all of the boundless possibilities that await those who dare to dream and persist against all odds.