Ultra-cyclist brings ‘Space Odyssey’ Everesting challenge to London

Jack Thompson aka Jack UltraCyclist will take on his 42nd Everest challenge of the year in London this weekend

Jack Thompson
(Image credit: Jack Thompson UltraCyclist)

On Saturday morning, Jack Thompson aka Jack UltraCyclist will attempt his 42nd Everest of the year in London.  

The Everest taking place on Hillway in Highgate in the north of the capital is part of his 1,000,000: A Space Odyssey challenge (opens in new tab)

Throughout the current year, Thompson is attempting to climb 1,000,000 metres of elevation, which equates to one Everest per week, with the goal of raising €1,000,000 for a variety of mental health organisations. 

In 2021, WorldTour rider Richie Porte climbed more metres than any other professional, setting a record within the professional ranks of 662,000 metres of elevation gain. Thompson’s aim is to have climbed 50% more than the former Ineos Grenadiers rider by the end of 2022.

A professional athlete and mental health advocate, Thompson has repeatedly raised the bar in the world of ultra cycling, while documenting his exploits on his YouTube channel.

The Australian has accumulated numerous world records and world firsts, and his activities on the bike have enabled him to shine a light on those suffering with mental health issues as well as organisations working to provide support to those in crisis. 

In 2021, Thompson rode the entire Tour de France route in just 10 days. By doing so he managed to beat the peloton to Paris.

Thompson explained that the idea for his new challenge came about after an Everesting challenge in Portugal fell through. 

He said: “I had this idea back in 2021 that I wanted to Everest in every Municipality of Portugal (26) and create a 6 month Tourism piece. Unfortunately, this plan fell through. I was pretty locked in on the idea of multiple Everesting and so did some maths, worked out that 52 Everests would give me 460,000m and then rounded up to one million!

“I’ve suffered from depression and mental health disorders my whole life and now being in the fortunate position to ride a bike full time, made it my mission to ride for a larger cause. Cycling has helped me and so I want to give back and help those who suffer. The idea of raising €1 for every metre climbed seemed like a good but very ambitious goal and so I set my sights on trying to achieve it.” 

INSPIRING OTHERS WITH THE AIM OF MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS

Jack Thompson

(Image credit: Jack Thompson UltraCyclist)

Across the years Thompson has also documented all of his challenges (opens in new tab) that he’s undertaken on film. This included taking the Guiness World Record for most kilometres ridden in seven days with a new record of 3,505 kilometres. 

His exploits in London this weekend will be the only time that he has undertaken any of the Space Odyssey challenge in the UK and later this year, Thompson hopes to complete the final part of the challenge at home in Australia. 

Other riders are welcome to join Thompson on Hillway this weekend and he explained that the support of others has been invaluable so far through donations (opens in new tab)

“I want to inspire people and I want my story to be heard. The more people that get involved, the bigger the story becomes and the more people that are positively impacted. Fundraising is hard, especially as a one-man band, cycling 30+ hours a week. Having the support of others is huge and if we can raise more funds to help others, then I consider my job as an athlete a success. I genuinely want to make a difference and it takes a team to do that,” he said. 

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