An ultrarunner jogging the length of Africa says his effort “hangs in the balance” over visa issues.

Russell Cook has so far run nearly 7,500 miles in 278 days of running and raised £140,000 in his bid to be the first person to run the length of the continent.

However, he now says his Project Africa run is under threat after not being able to secure visas to enter Algeria.

Russell, from Worthing, uploaded a video of himself on X, formerly Twitter, thanking his followers for their support.

He said: “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 is game over for Project Africa.

“I’ve been on the road for 278 days and ran 12,000km through 13 different countries and raised over £140,000 for charity.

“But it is all hanging in the balance, to be honest, on whether Algeria will give us permission to cross this border with Mauritania.”

Mr Cook said reaching Algeria is “the only option we’ve got” as and urged Algerian officials to step in and help.

He added: “There’s literally no other way to get to the most northern tip of Africa for us.

“So Algeria, if you’re listening, we would really appreciate someone reaching out.

“If there’s anything you need to see from me, please let me know. It would be a massive privilege to visit your country.”


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Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, responded to Russell’s video offering his assistance.

Russell’s adventure began on February 5 last year when he aimed to take on 360 marathons over 240 days across 16 countries including Algeria, Tunisia, Senegal, Cameroon, Angola and South Africa, with no rest days.

He said the idea of the marathon challenge across Africa came about after he ran from Asia to London in 2019 solo and unassisted.

That feat saw him complete 71 marathons in 66 days through 11 countries, including Turkey and Germany.

So far, Mr Cook has raised more than £140,000 for charity and he hopes to raise funds for vital work The Running Charity does to help those facing difficulties.