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‘Hardest Geezer’ Russ {Cook}’s Africa run contested by man who did it 14 years in the past | World Information

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A Briton’s declare to be the primary individual to run the size of Africa has been contested by a Danish man, who says he beat him to it 14 years in the past.

Russ {Cook}, from Worthing, West Sussex, finished his gruelling 352-day run from South Africa to Tunisia on Sunday, travelling near 16,000km (9,941 miles) on foot.

However Jesper Kenn Olsen, a 52-year-old Danish ultrarunner, mentioned the ‘Hardest Geezer’s’ claims he’s the primary to run throughout the continent are improper, as he accomplished an identical journey in 2010.

A member of the World Runners Affiliation (WRA), Mr Olsen ran from Taba, Egypt to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.

He set off on 28 December, 2008, and completed in March 2010 after operating near 13,000km (7,948 miles) over 434 days.

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Briton runs whole size of Africa

Whereas Mr Olsen was filled with reward for Mr {Cook}’s “unimaginable achievement,” he added “that is extra about getting the details appropriate”.

“For me, it is not a lot about whether or not I am the primary or second or what have you ever, as a result of clearly, for us, the primary factor is the runs all over the world,” the runner mentioned.

“It is far more essential that you simply maintain the honour than whether or not you’re primary, two or three. Nevertheless, so far as I perceive, he is undoubtedly the quickest.”

Jesper Kenn Olsen, an ultramarathon runner who ran the length of Africa from South Africa to Egypt between 2008 and 2010. Pic: PA
Jesper Kenn Olsen ran the size of Africa 14 years earlier than Russ {Cook}. Pic: PA

The WRA – comprised of seven members who efficiently circumnavigated the world on foot – additionally claimed to have tried to contact Mr {Cook} to say that Mr Olsen and two different members, Serge Girard from France and Tony Mangan from Eire, had additionally accomplished the problem beforehand.

The ‘Hardest Geezer’ set off from the southernmost level of South Africa, Cape Agulhas. He additionally completed additional north than Mr Olsen, ran almost 2,000 extra miles and beat his time by 82 days.

Mr Olsen, who solely learnt concerning the ‘Hardest Geezer’ two weeks in the past, additionally mentioned the “hallmark” of ultramarathon operating is “that you simply at all times recognise who got here earlier than”.

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Russ Cook's route as he becomes the first person to run the length of Africa
Russ {Cook}’s route from South Africa to Tunisia, which he managed in 352 days of operating.

Chatting with Good Morning Britain concerning the WRA’s statements, Mr {Cook} mentioned: “I have not heard something about it to be truthful.

“However there’s loads of individuals earlier than me who’ve accomplished a number of large runs and kudos to all of them as a result of they’re large challenges, so nothing however respect actually.”

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Fellow WRA member Marie Leautey additionally mentioned “it has to do with sportsmanship” and added: “He has accomplished a implausible run and we actually need to applaud him for it and say congratulations, however we additionally don’t need Jesper’s run to be written off from historical past as a result of it would not really feel proper.”

She additionally mentioned the WRA “received lots of abuse from individuals” for fact-checking Mr {Cook}’s run, however added she desires to ask him to hitch the elite group of runners.

“The door could be very open for Russ and we would like to speak to him as nicely,” Ms Leautey mentioned. “What he is accomplished is nice and he is extraordinarily inspirational.”

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