Man running length of Africa robbed at gunpoint

A man running the length of Africa has told how he was robbed at gunpoint.

Russell Cook, from Worthing, West Sussex, is attempting to run 31 miles (50km) every day.

The 26-year-old said he and his team had cameras, phones, cash and passports stolen in the incident in Angola on Saturday.

“One of the reasons why I wanted to run the length of Africa is because no one has ever done it before, and now we are finding out why,” he said.

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, nicknamed “Hardest Geezer”, aims to cover 9,320 miles (14,500km) during the eight-month challenge, crossing 16 borders through cities, rainforests and a three-month stretch in the Sahara Desert.

On day 64 of the challenge, the team was approached by two men with guns who “demanded everything”, Mr Cook said.

“First things first, we’re grateful to make it out alive,” he said.

“We lost a few thousand quids worth of stuff which is a big problem for us, but we will endeavour to soldier on and get things sorted.”

He said he was determined not to let the robbery ruin the challenge or the reputation of the country.

“Almost everyone we’ve met in Angola has been really friendly and welcoming, so it’s a shame this happened, but c’est la vie,” he added.

“It is a stressful and intense reality right now, but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

“The police are doing what they can to help us and make sure this doesn’t happen again. We will make it.”

Before the challenge, Mr Cook said following struggles with his mental health, gambling and drinking, he hoped to look back at his life and say, “boy, we had a tear up”.

The challenge is in aid of The Running Charity and Water Aid.

Source: BBC News