The 'Hardest Geezer' Russ Cook runs the entire length of Africa

352 Days
16 Countries
386 Marathons

9940 Miles / 16,000 KM covered
Over 19,000,000 steps in HOKA running shoes
Over £600,000 (and counting) raised for charity


Pictured: The moment the 'Hardest Geezer' Russ Cook reached the most northerly point of Africa, after leaving the most southerly point 352 days earlier on foot.

HOKA athlete, Russ Cook AKA The 'Hardest Geezer', lived up to his nickname, by running the entire length of Africa.

The 27-year-old, from Worthing, West Sussex, ran across 16 countries in 352 days, raising more than £600,000 for two charities.

You can still support this challenge and donate to these charities here

He crossed the finish line yesterday, arriving in Ras Angela, Tunisia, the most northern point of the African continent, where he was welcomed by hundreds of supporters who have eagerly followed his journey over the last 12 months.


Photo credit: Jerry Sun

This epic adventure was far from plain sailing and Cook faced several setbacks along the way.

In Angola, he and his team were robbed at gunpoint, with many of their personal possessions including had cameras, phones and passports stolen.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he went missing for several days after being separated from his team, who finally managed to free him after paying off his armed captives.

And finally, after initially being denied access into Algeria in January, he turned to social media to help get a visa to cross the border from Mauritania. Eventually, the Algerian Embassy granted him access and Cook was back en route to the finish.


Photo credit: Jerry Sun

For the last day of his challenge, he invited his supporters to run the last marathon with him to the finish.

Upon arrival, Cook was quoted as saying;

"It's no doubt been the toughest challenge of my life, but I always knew it was inevitable, I just needed to keep plugging away one step at a time and eventually it would get done. Thank you to the people of Africa for being such an amazing part of this journey.”

Following the challenge, he plans to take a well-earned day off from running.

Oh and just in case you were wondering; What is the Hardest Geezer's running shoe of choice?

Answer: The max-cushioned HOKA Bondi!

Want to know more about HOKA running shoes?

Then check out our HOKA Road: Range Explained article, where we explain the purpose and specification of each shoe in the 2024 range.

Are you feeling inspired? Then join our SportsShoes Strava Run Club and become part of our inclusive community.
And for more inspirational tips to become stronger, better and happier, then check out our Motivation category. Because it’s no fun standing still.


Welcome to the SportsShoes Motivation Hub! From real-life stories, tips and inspiration, here you'll find everything you need to motivate you to keep pushing your limits and break PBs.

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