'I hope that it gives somebody else hope': Ultra-cyclist Jack Thompson releases Everesting film ‘Rising Up’

Thompson climbed 1,000,000 metres of elevation in 2022 to raise money to help those dealing with mental health issues worldwide

Jack Thompson
(Image credit: @__wearekin__)

Ultra-cyclist Jack Thompson has released a new film documenting his year-long Everesting mission to raise money for several charities helping those with mental health issues worldwide.

The 30 minute long film, titled ‘Rising Up’, shows the strength, resilience and the ability to overcome adversity that Thompson needed to call upon as he attempted to complete 52 Everests in 2022.

Speaking to Cycling Weekly prior to the film's release, Thompson said it perfectly encapsulated both the highs and lows of completing such a gargantuan challenge.

“It’s a really powerful piece,” Thompson said. “I hadn’t been back and watched it until last week when we decided to put it out. It was quite an emotional watch, looking back and realising what I’d done and the highs and lows that went with that. A year is a long time, and to condense that into a 30 minute film almost doesn’t do it justice, but at the same time it’s great and I’m proud of it because it’s my year in a nutshell.”

Thompson is no stranger to challenges that the average cyclist wouldn’t even contemplate attempting. Across the years he’s accumulated various world records and world firsts on the bike.

In 2021 he also rode the entire Tour de France route in just ten days.

His aim last year to climb an astonishing 1,000,000 metres of elevation saw him complete 52 Everests. Thompson also climbed an additional 2,068 metres during his “off days” in order to reach his fundraising target.

The challenge even brought him to the streets of London where he was joined by several local riders and a member of the British House of Lords.

“I hope it’s one of those pieces that inspires somebody else to set a crazy goal and then just go at it,” Thompson added. “When I set that goal back in 2021, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do it or not if I’m honest. I think setting a goal and making that commitment to yourself is a powerful thing. I hope somebody else does that after watching this and they then can surprise themselves as well.”

Jack Thompson

(Image credit: Jack Thompson UltraCyclist)

Thompson’s honesty about his own battles with depression is captured throughout the film and led to him attempting to raise €1,000,000 - to match the amount of climbing he attempted - for three organisations working to help those in need.

“The background to the mental health story is that I’ve suffered from depression for the past 20 years,” he explained. “So raising the money for these mental health organisations was an easy decision. It was a very difficult task, I didn’t actually reach my end goal and for many reasons that was quite difficult to deal with.

“Although I think the film really showcases that life is a series of ups and downs, and it’s about battling through the difficult times and coming out the other side. Everesting in a sense is a difficult time, but it only lasts for a day. Last year it was 52 periods of very difficult times but I pushed through it, got to the end and did it."

“I hope that the film gives somebody else hope that whether it's one difficult time, five difficult times or a difficult year, everything passes," he continued. "I hope it’s symbolic of that… 

"You can be going through the most difficult period of your life but you can get to the other side if you knuckle down and push through it. I hope that’s the message that it leaves people with.”

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Tom Thewlis

Tom is a News and Features Writer at Cycling Weekly, and previously worked in communications at Oxford Brookes University. He has reported from a wide range of races and events including the Tour de France and World Championships.