Tim Peak, a 44-year-old astronaut, ran the London Marathon, on April 24, using a virtual-reality video while being on a treadmill on board of the International Space Station (ISS). Peak ran 26.2 miles in 3 hours 35 minutes 21 seconds while orbiting 250 miles above Earth, being this a new world record.
The astronaut had a harness and bungee system that weighed him down and kept him attached to the treadmill, while microgravity was also being used.
Before his flight to the International Space, Peake trained at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany, so he could be ready for the marathon.
Peake behaved like any other runner in London, and started the 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) test of endurance at 10 a.m. BST (09:00 GMT). The treadmill he used was the orbiting outpost’s T2 treadmill, located in the Tranquility module, which simulated gravity by strapping him down with the Glenn Harness, a backpack-like device designed by the Glenn Research Center.
Also, he was the official starter for the race, using a video message that was played at the starting line, so other runners could see.
“I’m really excited to be able to join the runners on Earth from right here on board the space station,” Peake said on the video. “Good luck to everybody running, and I hope to see you all at the finish line.”
The London Marathon
The London Marathon is a race that happens along the River Thames, and were thousands of people run the course each year. Peake, in 1999, completed the marathon crossing the finish line with a time of 3 hours and 18 minutes.
According to what Peake wrote on his Principia blog, the run went better than he expected, because he thought he would only run at 7.5 miles per hour but actually ran at 10 miles. He felt like his legs were fine, but he was having trouble with his shoulders, because they began to hurt, which made him need to finish the race faster than he planned.
Peake said he was able to watch the marathon live on BBC the whole time and that it was an encouragement. Peake said he ran 8 mph (13 kph) for 10 miles (16 kilometers) and increased that to 8.6 mph (14 kph) for the last 6.2 miles (10 kilometers).
To compare his progress to the live event, the Expedition 47 Flight Engineer used the RunSocial app, which gave him an excellent view of the streets of London, as if he was running on Earth.
This is the second time an astronaut ran a marathon from space, since on April 16, 2007, NASA astronaut Sunita Williams ran the Boston Marathon, finishing at 4 hours, 23 minutes.
Source: Spaceflight Insider