Who is Russell Cook, AKA The Hardest Geezer?

Meet Russell Cook, aka the "Hardest Geezer". He's been taking the media by storm, with the likes of Sir Mo Farrah and Eddie Hearn sending their messages of support. In the past few weeks, his Twitter account has grown from 6,000 to a staggering 130,000 followers. So who the hell is he and why is he gaining so much attention? Prepare to be inspired…

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Originally from the quiet town of Worthing, UK, Russell (known as Russ to his friends) is currently running the entire length of Africa, without any rest days. 😬

He’s already one month in, and is aiming to conquer a staggering distance of over 15,000 kilometres, starting from the southern tip of South Africa and heading all the way to the northern coast of Tunisia. It’s a journey which has never been completed before on foot, so he’ll be a world record holder upon completion. The plan is to finish by Christmas, meaning he’ll need to run the equivalent of 360 marathons in 240 days to reach his goal. That's 8,196,721 elephant trunks 🐘, or 6,302,521 cartwheels (avg) 🤸, or 55,762 Titanic ships 🛳️. Basically, it's a LOT.

Why would anyone do something so crazy?!

As well as becoming a world-record holder, Russ has pledged to raise £1 million for charity exclusively via the givestar app (available on the Apple app store, and Google Play store) which allows fundraisers to split their donations between up to four different charities. His campaign will raise money for two incredible charities: The Running Charity, helping young people facing homelessness, and WaterAid, an organisation bringing clean water and sanitation to communities in Africa. With our help, Russ is turning his extraordinary journey into a force for good!

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The Unlikely Hero

Russ’ journey to becoming a runner was unexpected. It began when he decided to take on a half marathon at the age of 21, after struggles with mental health, gambling, and drinking. Running became his way of taking control, proving to himself and the world that he could overcome anything. Reflecting on his challenge, he told The Mirror in an interview earlier this month, “It's an honour to have the opportunity really, it is kind of crazy to me," he continued, "I'm just a working class lad from Worthing in the UK. To be out here doing this is wicked.”

"The more people I can inspire to use their time to do something worthwhile, or push themselves, and live a fulfilled life...that's pretty sick.” 

This isn’t his first rodeo…

Before #ProjectAfrica, Russ has conquered mind-boggling challenges, including running 71 marathons in just 66 days from Asia to London. And that's not all! He’s also pulled a Suzuki Alto for 26 miles along the scenic south coast 🚗 and spent a whole week buried alive ⚰️(not for us thanks…).

But #ProjectAfrica takes it to a whole new level. Russ is determined to tackle this mind-bending adventure with no shortcuts or rest days, defying all odds and leaving his comfort zone in the dust. But it’s not always sunshine and rainbows…

During his incredible journey, Russ will traverse 16 countries, each offering unique landscapes and obstacles to overcome. He’ll be powering through dense rainforests and conquering scorching deserts. So far, he’s not holding back on sharing all the gory details with his followers, and we’re sure there’ll be plenty more trials and tribulations ahead of him.

Despite the setbacks, it’s clear he's ready to face anything that comes his way, even if it means a few bumps and bruises along the road. He's an absolute legend, redefining what it means to push your limits!

Show your support by following his amazing journey and donating to his campaign here.

Inspired to set up your own fundraising challenge? 

Head to givestar, sign up and download our app to start your own campaign in just five minutes. With built in features such as social sharing & updates and the option to split donations between up to four different charities, givestar empowers you to raise more for your cause and boost your impact. 

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