Astronaut Tim Peake Runs the London Marathon in Space

Monday, 25 April 2016 - 10:12AM
Science News
ESA
Monday, 25 April 2016 - 10:12AM
Astronaut Tim Peake Runs the London Marathon in Space
Tim Peake has just crossed a running milestone, as he just became the first astronaut to run a marathon in space. The UK astronaut, who is currently living on the ISS, finished the London Marathon yesterday for charity.

In order to simulate the marathon as closely as possible, Peake started at the same time as the runners on Earth, at 10:00 BST on April 24. He ran the entire 42km on a treadmill in 3 hours and 35 minutes, according to ESA (via BBC). And since the ISS travels around the Earth at a relative velocity of 17,900 mph, Peake technically covered a distance of 53,000 miles during his run.

This would be a great time in any environment, but it's even harder when contending with weightlessness, which Peake characterized as a "great challenge":
Opening quote
"One of the biggest challenges is the harness system. Obviously, my bodyweight has to be firmly attached to the treadmill by this harness, and that can rub on the shoulders and around the waist."
Closing quote

Peake previously ran the same marathon on Earth in 1999, at a time of 3 hours and 18 minutes. Under doctors' advice, he did not attempt to beat his time, as they wanted to ensure he wasn't injured before his return to Earth in June.

Peake ran the marathon both as a personal challenge and to raise awareness for The Prince's Trust, which aims to help young people facing issues such as homelessness or mental illness find career and education opportunities.
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