On Sunday, April 24, European Space Agency’s Tim Peake completed the London Marathon 248 miles above the Earth, making him the second astronaut to complete a 26.2 mile run in space. He ran alongside thousands of runners in London while strapped into a treadmill aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
Before the run began, Peake (via video) provided a countdown for the 40,000 Earth-bound runners, which included “Team Astronaut,” a group of athletes raising funds for The Prince’s Trust, a charity that helps provide young people with education and work.
Impressively, Peake ran the 26.2 miles despite having endured 18 weeks of bone and muscle loss—physiological effects of the decreased gravitational pressure of low orbit, or microgravity. Flight controllers monitored his progress from the ground.
The treadmill was designed to prevent the rest of the space station from shaking, while still providing enough downforce to simulate running on Earth.
Peake had told reporters that he didn’t expect to beat his Earth Marathon time because of the treadmill’s uncomfortable harness. Even so, he finished in 3:35:21—a mere 17 minutes over his best (Earth) time and 49 minutes faster than NASA’s Sunita Williams, who ran the Boston Marathon from space in 2007.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense