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Russ Cook's Outstanding Achievement

John F Kennedy probably said it best in 1962 when rhetorically wondering why America wanted to go to the moon: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” Fast forward to 2024, and the "Hardest Geezer" would no doubt agree.

Russ Cook celebrating after his epic run

Russ Cook - aka the "Hardest Geezer" - is the Brit who has just run 10,100 miles (the equivalent of 385 marathons) across the entire length of Africa, over 352 days and 16 countries. And many obstacles. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin didn't have to deal with attempted kidnappings, being robbed at gunpoint or visa issues which threatened to deny them entry to the lunar service.

Furthermore, everyone knows a marathon runner who vows never to do another. So, if you can, imagine that marathon runner relief that it's all over and multiply it by 385, and consider quite how dedicated and/or unwise you need to be to finish. Genuinely hard to imagine anything much tougher unless, of course, you're a seriously hard geezer.

Consider the great feats of endurance in modern sport. All share a need for superhuman levels of dedication which, when it comes down to it, is mostly about withstanding extreme boredom. It requires an iron will, belief, guts, determination - in spades.

Russ Cook on the road
Russ Cook | Instagram

Achievements relating to prolonged sacrifice require their protagonists to live the same day repeatedly, for stretches of time which would make wrongly incarcerated prisoners wince. Despite this, the remarkable Russ “Hardest Geezer” Cook has completed his 10,100-mile run across the entire length of Africa. Starting at the southern tip in Cape Town, one year later he reached Africa's northern tip in Tunisia on the Mediterranean coast.

The 352-day challenge took him through 16 countries and was the equivalent of 385 marathons. At some point here the brain loses the capacity to process such numbers. Let's just say that it's an extraordinary accomplishment. Thus far - and, yes, you can still contribute - Russ Cook has raised almost 85 percent of his £1,000,000 target for charities.


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