British extreme athlete aiming to run the entire length of Africa

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Cross Training For Runners
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David Dack

If you’re a beginner runner and you’re in need of some inspiration in order to help smash any future goals, then Russell Cook might just provide you with it. Born in Worthing, the YouTuber is attempting to run the entire length of Africa as we speak, a quite remarkable achievement should he manage to pull it off.

The 26-year-old, who is also known as the “Hardest Geezer”, is currently making excellent progress after already covering the entire length of South Africa and Namibia. Along the journey so far, Cook has even had messages of support from legendary athletes who have won numerous gold medals, inspired others, been backed by millions in the betting stakes, and put on numerous masterclasses in a competitive scenario.

Mo Farah has shown his support for Cook

One world-famous runner who has backed Russell Cook on his journey is Mo Farah. The four-time Olympic champion said: “I’m so proud of you and what you’re doing. Nobody can tell you that you can’t, because you can. Believe in yourself. You’re doing an amazing thing for charity. It’s incredible to see you on this journey. Let’s go Russ!”

With any money raised going towards The Running Charity and Water Aid, Cook is certainly doing an amazing thing for charity, as Sir Mo himself said. This isn’t just a YouTuber aiming to generate views and turnover huge sums of money for himself, this is a man on a genuine life-changing mission that he has clearly trained for intensely as he aims to inspire others to do the same, be more active, and get stomping out on the tarmac.

Cook wants us all to get running

Along the journey on YouTube so far, viewers have been exposed to Cook’s strong mentality, while also witnessing the evident struggles he is already having in these relatively early stages. Already, Cook has suffered with illness on numerous occasions, but he keeps pushing through and continues to run around 31 miles (50km) most days. While having no rest days was the aim from the offset, it has been vitally important on a few occasions already in order to replenish his body and essentially improve his chances of success further down the line. If Cook can dig deep and smash this amazing goal, then why can’t the rest of us?

He has a team behind him

As you might expect, despite his nickname, Cook can’t do this alone. After all, he is essentially aiming to run 9,320 miles (14,500km) in total during the challenge, crossing 16 borders in the process and experiencing a number of different settings, from bustling city environments to dead deserts. His small team of close friends follow his every move, making sure he is safe from any wild animals, while also focusing on his health and important aspects of any run, such as water intake. There have been numerous incidents already along the journey, too. From urinating blood to being held-up at gunpoint, the group have experienced plenty in a short space of time, but if Cook was alone it’d certainly be far more of a risk to take.

A Christmas finish is looking unlikely

With the extreme challenge officially beginning on 22 April, the initial aim was to finish it in time for Christmas given that it is expected to take more than eight months to complete. Given the numerous issues that Cook and his team have encountered already, though, we could see a later finish date. Regardless, Cook can enjoy his turkey when he returns, with the inspirational athlete capable of inspiring the world should be manage to complete one of the toughest challenges any runner has faced.

If you’d like to follow his every step, then tuning in to the action on YouTube is highly recommended. Although he has a massive amount of ground still to cover, Russell Cook is looking like he’s more than capable of smashing this phenomenal goal and motivating the planet’s population in the process. Here’s hoping he can pull it off.

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