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DAY 102 Among the many difficulties faced by the team, perhaps the darkest day of all was on Day 102. This was when Cook was kidnapped mid-run in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In an interview on Steven Bartlett’s Diary of a CEO podcast, Cook describes the moment as “the hardest part of [his] whole life.” Cook had planned to run 100k that day, and said in the interview with Bartlett that he was incredibly anxious from the get-go. After a series of other frightening moments, Cook ultimately found himself on the back of a motorbike for seven treacherous hours travelling to a village deep into the jungle. It took the team 36 hours to finally get to where he was taken, due to the extreme remoteness of the village’s location. A scarring event for both Cook and the team, out of the entire series of YouTube videos, the video of this day was the only one that wasn’t released.

WATCH ME! Cook and Bartlett unpack the details of Project Africa

BUMPS IN THE ROAD Part of what made the YouTube series so

captivating were the many challenges the team encountered, which often involved facing extreme danger. These included a series of health issues for Cook, from blood in his urine to chronic back pain. As well as health troubles, there were problems surrounding visas, Nelly breaking down multiple times, division within the team and most notably Day 102 of the Project, which entailed Cook’s kidnap – this undoubtedly took the lead as the project’s most perilous predicament. Karp additionally references the time when the team were accosted in Angola and robbed at gunpoint for most of their key belongings. “There was a drone stolen, a camera, a lens, phones, passports, wallets, cash. I think it amounted to close to about £5000 in total. Interestingly, the robbery was the day when everything went kind of viral. “CNN and BBC both picked it up. There was a major football event going on for Angola, so the president realised he would have to make good and got us a 24-hour police guard. Once the news picked it up in Angola, lots of influential local running clubs stepped up and got us cash, hotels, food – they just helped in any way they could.


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