It goes without saying that this is a mammoth undertaking. Cook will cover at least 50km every day for eight months, a run which he aims to complete without taking a day off, with plans in place to complete the mission on December 18. The route, which hugs Africa’s east coast, will take him through 16 different countries, over 800km of roadless deserts, and the Congo Rainforest, facts which only add to the incredible spectacle which he is undertaking.
At the time of writing, Cook is 16 days into his mission and approaching the Namibian border, already having covered nearly 800km. He is keeping fans up to date with the project via social media, gaining widespread media attention for his daily update videos, which display his seemingly endless supply of energy, positivity, and guile as he laughs off the obstacles of the day’s run.
These videos have earned him the attention of the mainstream media and a crop of celebrities, with notables from Eddie Hearn to The Sunday Times celebrating and promoting Cook’s project.
This is not the first trip of such magnitude that Cook has undertaken. In 2019, he became the first man ever to run from Asia to London, a journey which saw him cover 11 countries and 71 marathons in 66 days, with no support staff whatsoever. He also supported the Dribbling Britain project, another charitable run which saw Cook and others dribble a football from Carlisle to Newcastle, a 70 mile journey completed within 24 hours which raised £70,247 for mental health foundations The Running Charity, Campaign Against Living Miserably, and The James Brindley Foundation.
He isn’t just doing it for a laugh either. Project Africa is arguably one of the biggest charity fundraisers ever undertaken, supporting two organizations with which Cook has personal experience. The first charity Cook has chosen to support is The Running Charity, an organization based in Camden which combats youth homelessness and the mental health crisis through education and wellbeing activities, a project Cook became involved with after using running as a mental health crutch himself.
Project Africa is also benefiting WaterAid, which works to establish “clean water, decent toilets, [and] good hygiene” in underprivileged communities in Africa. Cook’s fundraiser is based on GiveStar, where he hopes to raise £100,000 by the end of the project.