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Project Africa

2314. Russ Cook

Russ Cook, from Worthing, nicknamed “Hardest Geezer”, is an ultra-runner who has raised over £1 million from having run the entire length of Africa, making him the first Briton to do so.

In 2016, Russ found himself addicted to gambling and lost almost all of his savings in an online bet. This experience made him want to take responsibility and invest time in improving himself, and so he decided to take on physical challenges that would push him mentally and physically. He has gone on to become a world record breaking endurance athlete and fundraiser, completing multiple extreme running challenges for charity. 

His latest challenge, ‘Project Africa’, saw Russ run 10,000 miles over 352 days, starting in South Africa and finishing in Tunisia. Russ faced multiple obstacles during his journey, but raised over £1 million for ‘The Running Charity’, as well as visiting schools along the way. In partnership with ‘The Running Charity’, Russ has also set up ‘Hardest Adventures’ to help support young people with their mental health, through completing physical challenges in the outdoors. (Russ is pictured with the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, going for a run around St James’s Park and Green Park. Picture by Simon Walker / No 10 Downing Street)

Watch the Prime Minister join Russ on a recent run in London and find out more about ‘Project Africa’ and ‘The Running Charity

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