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UK Cautions Briton On African Tour Against Algeria Route



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The United Kingdom Government on Thursday issued a warning to a man, Russell Cook, nicknamed “Hardest Geezer” running the length of Africa to desist from travelling through Algeria over safety concerns, BBC reports.

Cook who hailed from Worthing in West Sussex had originally planned to complete 360 marathons in 240 days in an attempt to become the first person ever to run the entire length of Africa.

The 26-year-old began his challenge at South Africa’s most southerly point on April 22, 2023, and is due to finish at Tunisia’s most northerly point.

He had originally aimed to run 9,320 miles (14,500km), crossing 16 borders, but extended the challenge due to complications with his visas, health scares, geopolitical issues and an armed robbery.

He is on day 279 of the challenge.

He wrote on his X handle on Wednesday, “Right girls and boys, we have a bit of a problem. We haven’t been able to get visas for Algeria, and if we don’t get them, then it’s game over for Project Africa.

“I’ve been running now for 278 days, covered nearly 12,000km through 13 countries and raised over £140k for charity in my attempt to become the first person ever to run the entire length of Africa. But right now all of that is totally hanging on whether we can get permission from Algeria to let us cross in through this border with Mauritania.

“This is the only option we have left, so, Algeria, if you’re listening, please reach out to me.”

However, reacting, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said it had provided Cook with travel advice.

“It clearly sets out the risks involved travelling through these dangerous areas, to where we clearly advise against all travel.

“Our travel advice is just that, advice, and it is up to individuals to decide whether to follow it. Visa applications are a matter for the issuing country,” a spokesman said.

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