British astronaut Tim Peake says he’ll follow in the footsteps of NASA’s Sunita Williams by running a marathon in orbit on the International Space Station.
Peake is due to ride a Russian Soyuz craft to the station for a six-month stint on Dec. 15, which should give him plenty of zero-G training time for the London Marathon on April 24. While more than 30,000 runners make their way through the course’s 26 miles and 385 yards on Earth, Peake will run the same distance on the station’s treadmill, held down by a harness to keep him on track.
He’s running the race to raise awareness for the Prince’s Trust, a youth charity co-founded by Britain’s Prince Charles.
Really excited to be running the Digital Virgin Money #LondonMarathon 2016 from space, in support of @PrincesTrust https://t.co/XUlFKlv7Qb
— Tim Peake (@astro_timpeake) December 4, 2015
“The thing I’m most looking forward to is that I can still interact with everybody down on Earth,” Peake said in today’s announcement about his plans from the European Space Agency. “I’ll be running it with the iPad and watching myself running through the streets of London whilst orbiting the Earth at 400 km.”
Peake ran the London Marathon in 1999, finishing with a time of 3:18.50. He expects to take it slower this time, with a goal of three and a half to four hours. During that time, the station will make more than two orbits around the planet, logging a distance of more than 62,000 miles (100,000 kilometers).
Tim Peake may be the first “Marathon Man” in space, but Williams was the first marathon spaceflier back in 2007. Her 4:24 treadmill run coincided with the Boston Marathon.