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Russ Cook: British man aiming to run full of length of Africa given green light to enter Algeria after visa issues

A British man aiming to run the length of Africa has been given the green light to enter Algeria - after visa issues left his gruelling challenge "hanging in the balance".

Russ Cook, from Worthing in West Sussex, has been running the length of the continent for 283 days, covering more than 7,600 miles (12,200km) and raising more than £150,000 for The Running Charity - which supports young people who are homeless.

The 26-year-old says he will become the first person to ever run the full of length of Africa if he completes the challenge.

He began his journey at South Africa's most southern point and has more than 2,485 miles (4,000km) left before reaching his final destination - Tunisia's most northern point.

His latest social media post, shared on Monday, showed him running through Senegal - south of Algeria.

Cook, who calls himself "The Hardest Geezer" on his social media platforms, encountered complications with his visa last week at the Algerian border with Mauritania, previously saying the challenge was dependent on whether he could secure permission to cross the border with there being "no other way" for him to reach the northern tip of Africa.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) previously said the visa issue was a matter for the issuing country and also cited safety concerns in travelling through "dangerous areas".

However, on Sunday the UK's Algerian embassy said Mr Cook would be granted a courtesy visa on the spot in order for him to continue his charitable mission.

The embassy said he will be granted a "multi-entry visa" which will allow him to cross Algeria through the province of Tindouf, in a post on X, adding: "Welcome to Algeria and Good luck!"

Following the announcement, Mr Cook thanked those who offered support.

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On his X account, where he posts regular updates about his challenge, Mr Cook wrote: "Boys and girls we did it. We're going to Algeria, and the power of social media made it happen.

"There is still over 4000km of running left to do but I'll have a finish date for project Africa ready to announce pretty soon.

"Daiquiri's on the beach in sight.

"Thank you to everyone who supported, sent messages, went through their contacts for us."

He added that he wanted to say "a big thank you" to Labour and Conservative MPs who had "both been immensely helpful here".

Mr Cook previously explained how the challenge was at risk.

"I've been on the road for 278 days and ran 12,000km through 13 different countries and raised over £140,000 for charity," he said in a video posted on X last week.

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