Hardest Geezer completes London Marathon after Africa run

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A man who ran the length of Africa has completed his latest challenge – running the London Marathon.

After complications with visas, health scares, geopolitical issues and an armed robbery, Russell Cook, nicknamed “Hardest Geezer”, crossed the finish line of his Africa challenge in Tunisia on 7 April after 352 days.

The 27-year-old, from Worthing, West Sussex, has raised more than £960,000 ($1.18m) for charity.

Two weeks after finishing the mammoth challenge, Mr Cook helped to pace younger participants at the London Marathon.

He completed the marathon in an unofficial time of 4:25:40.

In a post on social media, Mr Cook said: “I really do love the marathon. My dad first ran one when I was a young lad and I thought he was superman.

“Running my first one changed my life.”

He was participating in the event in collaboration with The Running Charity.

On Saturday, Mr Cook also attended Worthing Football Club’s National League South fixture against Weston-super-Mare.

Mr Cook’s extreme challenge began at South Africa’s most southerly point on 22 April 2023, and finished more than 10,190 miles (16,400km) north in Tunisia.

He had originally planned to complete the equivalent of 360 marathons in 240 days but extended the challenge due to complications.

Before he set off, he said he hoped to look back at his life and have no regrets after admitting to struggling with his mental health, gambling and drinking.

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