A British man has been robbed at gunpoint while attempting to become the first person to run the entire length of Africa.Russell Cook, an extreme
A British man has been robbed at gunpoint while attempting to become the first person to run the entire length of Africa.
Russell Cook, an extreme marathon runner who is known as Worthing’s ‘Hardest Geezer’, was set upon by armed thugs in rural Angola yesterday after completing roughly 1,800 miles of the mammoth 9000-mile journey.
Cook claimed his support van was raided by ‘desperate blokes with guns’ and that the armed men stole his team’s cameras, mobile phones and some passports, as well as wads of cash.
‘Infamously bad situation to find yourself on the end of. Proper spot of bother,’ the self-proclaimed ‘Hardest Geezer’ wrote on Twitter.
He added that nobody on his crew was hurt in the armed hold-up and thanked his hundreds of thousands of followers for their messages of support.
Sharing a new update today, Russell said: ‘Vibes took a bit of a beat down from yesterday’s antics but the only way to get out of this is to keep going.
‘Hard times? Yes sir. Back for more? Absolutely.’
Cook claimed his support van was raided by ‘desperate blokes with guns’ and that the armed men stole his team’s cameras, mobile phones and some passports
Russell is pictured after enduring the ordeal of being robbed at gunpoint
Russell Cook, pictured here in South Africa, is running from the southern tip of Africa to the northern coast of the continent
To do this, he hopes to run a marathon every single day until Christmas, with no breaks or rest days as he travels up the continent. He is expected to finish the journey some time next year.
In the process the 26-year-old will cross 16 countries and brave some of the toughest environments known to man including rainforests and deserts.
Russell, from Worthing in West Sussex, claims he would be the first person to make the journey and he wants ‘to suffer’ as he does it, while raising money charity.
The athlete, who is a self-described former ‘fat lad’ with alcohol and gambling issues, was introduced to long distance running when he entered a half marathon at the age of 21.
Since then he has gained a reputation for attempting trials of strength and endurance – he ran 71 marathons in 66 days from Asia to London in 2019, pulled a Suzuki Alto 26 miles along the south coast and was buried alive for a week in 2021.
But #ProjectAfrica, as he calls it, is on another level and he’s not doing things the easy way, telling The Times he has no intention of taking unenforced stops on the journey.
He said: ‘Rest days don’t exist in my world We don’t do rest days. They just take away from the purity of the physical challenge. I’m out here to suffer and rest days make it easy.
‘Also, no one’s ever done this before, so I’m trying to set a fast time so that no one tries to beat it.’
Over the course of his journey he has already passed through South Africa and Namibia and now finds himself in Angola, where his team is coordinating with local police forces to recover their stolen passports.
Russell must now pass through the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Senegal, Mauritania and Algeria on his way to the finish line in northern Tunisia.
On the journey he will be forced to contend with some of the most inhospitable environments on the planet, as well as man-made problems.
Russell is aiming to run a marathon a day every day until Christmas
Russell will travel from South Africa and through a total of 16 countries before he finishes in Tunisia
Russell began his journey on April 22 by setting off from Cape Agulhas in South Africa, and since then has run some 1,850 miles
He said: ‘I think that going through the Congo rainforest in rainy season is going to be pretty dicey. One, just because the weather’s going to be atrocious and two, because I don’t know if the van is going to make it through that.
‘There is also some civil unrest and geopolitical issues in various countries so there’s always potential problems.
‘And then the other one is obviously the Sahara Desert. I’ve got around 4,000 kilometres [there] so that’s probably not going to be very easy.’
The extreme runner, who has a mantra of ‘you’ve got one life, so attack it’, admits he might do permanent damage to his body in his attempt.
Russell began his journey on April 22 by setting off from Cape Agulhas in South Africa, and since then has run some 1,850 miles.
The runner is raising money for charity as he attempts the extreme feat.
Half of the proceeds will go to The Running Charity, which helps young people who are homeless, and the other half will go to WaterAid, which provides clean water and toilets in places like Africa.
You donate to his fundraising page at https://givestar.io/gs/PROJECTAFRICA