British astronaut Tim Peake will join the 37,000 competitors running the London marathon – but he’ll run it from space.
Major Peake became an instant celebrity and the first UK astronaut in space in over 20 years when on December 15 he blasted off to the International Space Station (ISS). Rather than run the marathon in 2017, when he’s back on Earth, Peake decided to run it from space to raise awareness for the Prince’s Trust charity.
“As soon as I got assigned to my mission to the ISS, I thought wouldn’t it be great to run,” said Peake in a statement and video released by the Prince’s Trust. “The London Marathon is a worldwide event, let’s take it out of this world.”
But there’s even more – thanks to virtual reality Peake will actually feel like he is there, pounding the pavements of London:
The thing I’m most looking forward to is that I can still interact with everybody down on Earth. I’ll be running it with the iPad and watching myself running through the streets of London whilst orbiting the Earth at 400km above the surface and going 27,000km per hour.
Due to the microgravity on board the space station, Peake won’t be able to run without a harness holding him down and unfortunately, the shoulder straps and waist belt can cause quite a bit of discomfort – so he doesn’t think he’ll be setting any personal bests, but hopes to complete the race in under 4 hours.
Definitely better than I could manage not in space.