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Hardest Geezer: British man Russ Cook completes run across Africa

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Almost one year after he started, traversing deserts, mountains and rainforest across 16 countries, Russ Cook – more widely known as the Hardest Geezer – has completed his challenge to run the entire length of Africa.

The task of covering the distance, equating to more than 385 marathons, was initially planned to end by Christmas.

Instead the 16,300km journey – more than 10,000 miles – has taken 352 days and forced the red-headed 27-year-old from Worthing to overcome numerous dramatic twists, life-threatening situations and unforgiving conditions on his route north from South Africa to Tunisia’s Mediterranean coast.

Cook and his team were robbed at gunpoint, faced frustrating border delays and received police escorts along the way. He has struggled on through illness, injury and unforgiving terrain.

But, on Sunday, joined for his final marathon by people he has inspired and celebrated on social media where his achievement has been documented, Cook and his team’s epic adventure came to an end.

He claims to be the first person to have ever run the full length of the continent and has so far raised more than £650,000 for his chosen charities in completing the remarkable endurance feat – well over halfway to the £1m target he set.

This is the story of his past year.

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