Chichester astronaut Major Tim Peake to become first man to run a marathon in space

Tim Peake is set to run the London Marathon aboard the International Space Station Picture from Virgin Money London Marathon SUS-150412-155328001
Tim Peake is set to run the London Marathon aboard the International Space Station Picture from Virgin Money London Marathon SUS-150412-155328001

British astronaut Tim Peake will become the first man to run a marathon in space.

Tim will join thousands of other runners taking part in the London Marathon next April, as he runs the ‘Digital’ Virgin Money London Marathon on the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday, April 24.

It will be another first for Tim who is the first Briton to be selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) for a mission to the ISS.

His mission launches from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, in 11 days time on Wednesday, December 15, and he is due to return to Earth on June 5, 2016.

Tim, who is running to raise awareness for The Prince’s Trust, will run the 26.2 miles on a treadmill as the ISS orbits the earth.

He will start at 10am GMT the same time more than 37,000 runners set off from Greenwich to cover the famous marathon distance on Earth.

To combat weightlessness, Tim will wear a harness that tethers him to the treadmill as he runs, while watching the HD video of the iconic London course on the big screen in front of the treadmill.

The tension on the harness dictates the speed that he can run.

Tim has been a keen runner since his teenage years growing up in Chichester and ran the London Marathon on Earth in 1999, finishing in 3:18:50.

“As soon as I got assigned to my mission to the International Space Station, I thought wouldn’t it be great to run the Digital Virgin Money London Marathon from onboard the ISS,” said Tim.

“The London Marathon is a worldwide event.

“Let’s take it out of this world.

“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.

“One of the biggest challenges I’ll be facing is the harness system.

“In microgravity I would float if I didn’t strap myself down to the treadmill so I have to wear a harness system that’s a bit similar to a rucksack.

“It has a waistbelt and shoulder straps.

“That has to provide quite a bit of downforce to get my body onto the treadmill so after about 40 minutes, that gets very uncomfortable.

“I don’t think I’ll be setting any personal bests.

“I’ve set myself a goal of anywhere between 3:30 to four hours.

“I am running in space to raise awareness of The Prince’s Trust, which has a team running on the ground – Team Astronaut – while I’m running on the ISS.”

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