AN ULTRARUNNER known as the “Hardest Geezer” who was able to run out of a “bad place” takes on another incredible challenge.
Worthing’s Russell Cook is preparing for his latest record-breaking challenge of running 360 marathons across Africa.
The 25-year-old starts in Tunisia in November and will run across the continent through 16 countries for eight months, braving the Sahara, the Congo rainforest and the Namibian desert.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.
“No one has done the full length before, and I thought that was cool.
“And it’s also probably the most difficult continent to cross.
“I’m not intimidated at all, I’m just excited. Whatever happens, I’ll be ready.”
The 15,000km trek is just one of many extraordinary challenges Russell has taken on.
Last year he was buried alive for a week with nothing but water and a camera streaming it live on YouTube.
In 2020 he ran 26 miles along the Worthing seafront with a 730kg Suzuki Alto strapped to him and broke the world record for fastest marathon while towing a car by setting a time of nine hours and 56 recorded minutes.
The year before, he unaided 71 marathons in a 66-day stint from Asia to London, becoming the first person to do so.
“It started when I was 19,” he says.
“I haven’t done any exercise or fitness in years.
“I was in a pretty bad place, I was drinking a lot, gambling a lot and I had a mate who approached me and asked if I wanted to do the Brighton Half Marathon.”
Russell finished the run before deciding to run the entire Brighton Marathon.
“By training for a marathon, I learned the values of running, discipline and confidence,” he said.
“I had that for the first time in my life and it really empowered me, and I’ve applied it to other things in my life.”
Russell saved money and decided to quit his job and travel.
While traveling he was inspired to take on his first challenge, running from Asia to London, when he met a man who had been traveling the world by bike for six days.
“It’s been uninterrupted since then,” he said.
The serial adventurer is currently training at 200 to 300 kilometers per week for the Africa saga.
He also receives support from sponsors to fund the expedition.
The challenge is documented and Russell is assisted by three people.
He will also use the run to raise funds for the running charity he has supported for some time.
“I’m going to raise money for the running charity,” he said.
“They try to be there for the most vulnerable people in the country, using running and exercise as a catalyst to empower them to make the changes in their lives that they desire.”
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20672016.worthings-russell-cook-hardest-geezer-run-length-africa/?ref=rss Worthing’s Russell Cook is the ‘Hardest Geezer’ to run the length of Africa