British astronaut Tim Peake has achieved a truly out-of-this-world feat when he competed in his special version of the London Marathon this Sunday.
Special, because Peake was aboard the International Space Station when he completed 26.2 miles into a harness attached to a treadmill. His time? 3:35:21. Back in 1999, he also ran the distance on the ground, completing it in 3:18:50.
For the 44-year-old astronaut, who has been abroad the space station since December 2015, the marathon looked and took place under completely different conditions than the 42,000 runners who also ran in London – different to say the least.
Due to the lack of gravity, the treadmill could not have an incline. Because of the same reason, Peake had to be harnessed to the treadmill so that he could feel his weight.
According to his trainer Patrick Jaekel, the weight on his shoulders was the equivalent of running with an object of 22 to 44 pounds. Yikes. Talk about completely different.
Also, in space – and aboard the ISS – there’s no cooling breeze; thankfully, Peake ran while fans kept him warm while also evaporating the sweat that started floating sans gravity.
Peake’s experience was similar in one aspect, however, as he was able to hear the crowd cheer and the course ahead of him via the RunnSocial app. Jaekel said the speed of the treadmill was synced to the speed of which he saw the course ahead.
The astronaut also had the live support of his fellow crew members who were there to give him food, water, and a fresh shirt, in whatever order they were necessary.
In 2007, another NASA astronaut – Sunita Williams – ran the Boston Marathon from space, completing it in under 4-1/2 hours.
Peake also broadcasted from space to BBC, explaining how he has been putting in time on the treadmill. “I’ve done a few half marathons and a little longer distance as well […] I’m sure there will be a few points where I wish I had done a bit more training.”
Before the runners on Earth set off, they were played a recorded message on the big screens, showing Peake wishing the competitors luck.
The winner of the men’s race was Eliud Kipchoge, a Kenyan long-distance runner; he also set the record for that course to 2:03:04. He triumphed at this event for the second year in a row. in 2017, his time was the second fastest of all time, only 7 seconds behind the world best at the 2014 Berlin Marathon, won by fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto.
Image Source: Fox News