Mon. May 20th, 2024

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Vertical 1m: Supercyclist Jack Thompson ‘into space’ for first time in a calendar year

Super cyclist Jack Thompson did it!

After a year-long quest, the Australian climbed to a staggering 1,000,000 meters (3,280,839.9 feet) above sea level, enough to travel deep into outer space.

To reach that distance, Thompson climbed Everest once a week for 52 weeks, and climbed an additional 2,068 meters on his “rest days.” A popular challenge in the age of COVID, Everest is a ride in which one person completes the height of Everest — 8,848.9 meters or 29,032 feet — in a series of hill repeats on the same mountain, without Any sleep breaks.

To keep things interesting, Thompson has done his Everest in different countries, encouraging people to ride together and developing a community.

After 261 days of active riding and 52 days of accumulated rest, Thompson hit the 1 million mark.

Thompson said on social media that the achievement had left him on an “emotional roller coaster.”

“I’ve never been more fit, I’ve never been more tired, I’ve never been more depressed, I’ve never been more proud of myself than I am right now.”

In 2021, World Tour racer and compatriot Richie Porte, who has a background as a professional bicycle racer, has climbed more vertically than any other pro, recording an altitude of approximately 662,000 meters. This year, Thompson climbed 50 percent over the Ineos Grenadier drivers.

He’s doing it all to raise €1,000,000 for three mental health organizations around the world. These organizations are About Kids Helpline, Australia’s only free and confidential online and telephone advice service for young people; Outride, Specialized’s charity working to create more equity, inclusion and health for young people through school-based cycling programs future; StrongMinds is a social enterprise working to treat depression among women and adolescents in low-income communities in Africa.

“Having suffered from depression and mental health disorders my entire life and now being lucky enough to be able to ride a bike full time has made it my mission to ride for a greater cause,” Thompson said.

“Cycling helps me, so I want to give back and help those who are suffering. The idea of raising 1 euro for every meter climbed seems like a good but very ambitious goal, so I set my sights on making it happen.”

Thompson, a professional athlete and mental health advocate, has amassed numerous world records and world firsts in recent years, including setting the Guinness World Record for most kilometers cycled in seven days — a record of 3,505 kilometers — and cycling the entire Tour de France Cycling route in as little as 10 days. If you’re looking for some inspiration as you make your New Year’s resolutions for 2023, you can watch most of Thompson’s exploits on his YouTube channel.