A British man has been robbed at gunpoint while trying to become the first person to travel the length of Africa.
Russell Cook, an extreme marathoner known as Worthing’s “Hardest Geezer,” was attacked by armed thugs in rural Angola yesterday after completing about 1,800 miles of the mammoth 9,000-mile journey.
Cook claimed his support van had been ambushed by “desperate dudes with guns” and that the gunmen stole his team’s cameras, cell phones and some passports, as well as wads of cash.
Notoriously bad situation to find yourself at the end of. Right place of nuisance,” the self-proclaimed “Hardest Geezer” wrote on Twitter.
He added that none of his crew were injured in the armed robbery and thanked his hundreds of thousands of followers for their support.
Sharing a new update today, Russell said, “Vibes suffered a little bit from yesterday’s antics, but the only way to get out of this is to keep going.
‘Hard times? Yes sir. Back for more? Absolute.’
Cook claimed his support van was ambushed by “desperate dudes with guns” and the gunmen stole his team’s cameras, cell phones and some of his passports
Russell is depicted after going through the ordeal of being robbed at gunpoint
Russell Cook, pictured here in South Africa, walks from the southern tip of Africa to the northern coast of the continent
Russell embarks on an arduous quest to race more than 9,000 miles on foot from the tip of South Africa to the northern coast of Tunisia.
To do this, he hopes to run a marathon every day until Christmas, with no breaks or rest days as he travels across the continent. He is expected to finish the trip sometime next year.
In the process, the 26-year-old will traverse 16 countries and brave some of the harshest 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 wants to ‘suffer’ while doing it, raising money for charity.
The athlete, who says he is a former “fat boy” with alcohol and gambling problems, was introduced to long-distance running when he started a half marathon at the age of 21.
He’s since built a reputation for trying strength and endurance runs – running 71 marathons in 66 days from Asia to London in 2019, pulling a Suzuki Alto 42 miles up the south coast and being buried alive for a week in 2021.
But #ProjectAfrica, as he calls it, is on another level and he doesn’t do things the easy way. The times he does not intend to make unnecessary stops during the journey.
He said, “Rest days don’t exist in my world. We don’t do rest days. They just take away the purity of the physical challenge. I’m here to suffer and rest days make it easy.
“Besides, no one has ever done this before, so I’m trying to set a fast time so no one tries to beat it.”
During his trip he has already traveled through South Africa and Namibia and is now in Angola, where his team is working with the local police to recover their stolen passports.
Russell now has to cross the Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Senegal, Mauritania and Algeria on his way to the finish in northern Tunisia.
During the journey, he will face some of the most inhospitable environments on the planet, as well as man-made problems.
Russell aims to run a marathon every day until Christmas
Russell travels from South Africa and through a total of 16 countries before ending in Tunisia
Russell began his journey on April 22, departing from Cape Agulhas in South Africa, and has since walked some 3,000 kilometers
He said: ‘I think it will be difficult to cross the Congo rainforest in the rainy season. One, just because the weather is getting miserable and two, because I don’t know if the van is going to make it.
“There is also some social unrest and geopolitical issues in different countries, so there are always potential problems.
‘And the other one, of course, is the Sahara desert. I have about 4,000 kilometers [there] so it probably won’t be that easy.’
The extreme runner, who has a mantra of “you have one life, so attack it,” admits that he can cause permanent damage to his body in the attempt.
Russell began his journey on April 22 with a departure from Cape Agulhas in South Africa, and has since walked some 3,000 kilometers.
The runner raises money for charity while attempting the extreme feat.
Half of the proceeds go to The Running Charity, which helps young people who are homeless, and the other half goes to WaterAid, which provides clean water and toilets in Africa, among other places.
You donate to his fundraising page on https://givestar.io/gs/PROJECTAFRICA