Here’s a way to keep in shape while in space: run a marathon. That’s what UK Astronaut Tim Peake did as he orbits above the Earth on the International Space Station.
Peake, due to return home in June, ran on one of the ISS’s treadmills. He started at the same time as the runners on the ground (7:00pm AEST, April 24), and ran the 42km required while held down by straps. According to the BBC, he’s already done “some half-marathons on the ISS treadmill and longer distances.”
He was part of a running team – Team Astronaut, with counterparts on the ground running the race. They’re raising money for a charity, The Prince’s Trust, which supports disadvantaged youth in England.
The team on the ground was noticeable: they ran in space suits in an attempt to break a world record:
Moreover, should I complete the marathon in this replica suit in less than 4 hours and 30 min, the Guinness World Records will recognise this as a new World Record for the ‘Fastest Marathon by a Man Wearing a Replica Space Suit’, so this is precisely what I shall be attempting on April 24th – my colleague Libby Jackson from the UK Space Agency will be attempting to set the female version of this record.
(Side note: there was a world record for running a marathon in a replica space suit??)
He ran the distance in about three hours, 35 minutes. The astronaut noted that he did not attempt to beat his prior time in the London Marathon (which he ran in three hours, 18 minutes and 50 seconds in 1999) on the advice of his flight surgeons, who want him in healthy shape for the return to Earth.
image: The Prince’s Trust