They are about 38,000 participants who joined the London Marathon, and surprisingly one of them joined from 200 miles above the planet in the International Space Station.
Astronaut Tim Peake successfully completed 26.2 mile-course even though he was staying at the ISS estimated time of completion to 3:35:21, as tweeted by the European Space Agency (ESA).
He also started the race and gave an introductory speech saying “I’m really excited to be able to join the runners on earth from right here on board the Space Station. Good luck to everybody running, and I hope to see you all at the finish line.”
— BBC Get Inspired (@bbcgetinspired) April 24, 2016
There is serious challenge because Peake is running in space. He seriously had difficulty getting comfortable with the harness system where he will be running and described it like running with a “clumsy rucksack on.” The harness system will help him stay on the treadmill and explained its mechanism:
“These chains connect to a bungee system, and that keeps me on the treadmill and gives me the weight bearing that I need on my legs to stimulate those muscles and to make sure we don’t lose too much muscle mass, that we don’t lose too much bone density.”
The Guardian reported that “weightlessness is not kind to astronauts. The perceived lack of gravity deconditions the body in a number of ways.”
And he continued saying that microgravity conditions seemed like a “perfect environment” after the race to recover strength.
“The moment you stop running and the moment you get off that bungee system, your muscles are in a completely relaxed state. And I do think we recover faster up here from any kind of aches or sprains.”
He used the RunSocial app “so I’ll actually be looking at the route that I’m running, and I’ll be running alongside everyone else who’s running the digital version of the London Marathon.”
Peake posted a tweet as he crossed the Tower Bridge.
— RunSocial (@runsocial) April 24, 2016
Peake was also interviewed by reporters and said that his pre-race plans haven’t been decided yet. He also mentioned thinking about eating baked beans, sausage, and eggs, but remembered that food in space does not really “settle very well” so a great meal before the race is much needed.
All his tweets include the #spacerocks hashtag.
Tim Peake is the second astronaut to run a marathon while staying on the International Space Station. It was Sunita Williams who first completed the Boston Marathon while in orbit in 2007.
A report by Larry Williams said that “Defending men’s champion Eliud Kipchoge completed the 26.2-mile course just 8 seconds off the world record,breaking the tape in front of Buckingham Palace in 2 hours, 3 minutes and 5 seconds.”
“Kipshoge, looking fresh at the end, was 46 seconds ahead of fellow Kenyan Stanley Biwott, who won last year’s New York marathon.”
“In the woman’s race, 31-year-old Kenyan Jemima Sumgong took the marathon for the first time. Recovering from a hard tumble to the ground with around 4 miles remaining, Sumgong quickly got up rubbed her head and made up for lost time to win with 5 seconds to spare. Her time was 2 hours, 22 minutes, 58 seconds.”