Worthing man running length of Africa halted by visa issue

Russell Cook running in Africa
Image caption,Russell Cook, from Worthing, West Sussex, had originally planned to complete 360 marathons in 240 days

A man running the length of Africa for charity has said the challenge could be in doubt over visa issues.

Russell Cook, from Worthing, West Sussex, had planned to complete the length of 360 marathons in 240 days.

After complications including an armed robbery, the 26-year-old was forced to extend the challenge.

Mr Cook said it was now dependent on whether he could secure permission to cross the border into Algeria from Mauritania.

Posting on X (formerly Twitter), he said: “I’ve been on the road for 278 days, ran 12,000km [7,456 miles] across 13 different countries, raised over £140,000 for charity – but it is all hanging in the balance,” he said.

“If we don’t get the visas, then it is game over.”

Tim Loughton, the Conservative MP for East Worthing responded to the message: “Russ-have been sent this and I gather that you are from East Worthing. Can you email me some details and we will do what we can to help through the Foreign Office and Algerian Embassy.”

Alexander Stafford MP also said he would help by raising the issue with the Algerian ambassador.

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End of twitter post by Alexander Stafford MP

The extreme challenge began at South Africa’s most southerly point on 22 April and will finish at Tunisia’s most northerly point.

Mr Cook had originally aimed to cover 9,320 miles (14,500km) during the challenge, crossing 16 borders, but extended the challenge due to complications with his visas, health scares and geopolitical issues.

Russell Cook running in Africa
Image caption,Russell Cook said the challenge was dependent on whether he could secure permission to enter Algeria and cross the border into Mauritania

Mr Cook, nicknamed “Hardest Geezer”, has called for the assistance and support of those who have followed the challenge to help secure the visa.

“It’s the only option we’ve got,” he said. “There is literally no other way to get to the most northern tip of Africa for us.” https://cingengkali.com/

The challenge is in aid of The Running Charity and has raised £142,659 so far.

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