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Briton Russ Cook runs 16250 kilometers in 350 days: crosses entire continent of Africa

Briton Russ Cook has achieved a feat of stature: the ultrarunner is the first person in the world to cross the entire continent of Africa running. He did 350 days over 16,250 kilometers.

Last year, Cook set off from Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of South Africa. During his trek, which raised as much as 650,000 euros for charity, he crossed 16 countries. This week he finished in the northernmost part of Tunisia.

Of course the journey was physically incredibly tough, but in addition Cook faced other notable challenges. As early as the second month, Cook and his team were ambushed by an armed gang in Angola, stealing not only phones and cameras, but also passports and visas.

As the ultrarun drew to a close – after 278 days – it looked for a moment as if Cook would not be able to complete the run: the authorities of Mauritania and Algeria would not allow Cook to cross the border. At that, Cook posted an emotional video on X, stating that that was the end of his attempt. That video was seen by more than 12 million people, including Elon Musk and British politicians, and that led to Cook finally being allowed to cross the border after all.

Russ Cook (left) runs through Africa (Picture: X Cook)