British Astronaut to run the London Marathon from space

And even anti-gravity isn't a help

Tim Peake

If you thought finishing a marathon was impressive, Tim Peake is going to breeze past you… from space.

While long distance running from space isn't anything new – astronauts needs to stay in shape to make sure they can still walk around when they return to Earth after long space missions – this will be the first time the space-dweller will be racing people in real time.

The difference is Peake will be able to run the course as it happens, starting as the gun fires in London, thanks to the entire course being digitally mapped out by RunSocial in 2013 and 2014.

As he runs on the treadmill, his speed will dictate how fast he moves through the course displayed on his iPad, so he'll approach the finish line at the correct time for his pace.

The RunSocial system uses a variety of methods to gauge the speed accurately, from connecting to specialised treadmills to Bluetooth-connected tracker attached to the belt to a simple pedometer, so whatever speed you run is matched on screen.

Running

But the best bit is that anyone can join in, as the RunSocial app is actually a huge multiplayer game, letting you run against other avatars tackling the course at the same time.

That means the gut-wrenching moment when you get out-sprinted at the end of the race can now be replicated from your own garage / bedroom / gym as someone flies past you (assuming they've not just jumped off the treadmill and are enjoying a lovely cup of tea).

Peake will need specialist equipment to offset the anti-gravity that space loves so much, wearing a special harness that applies the bodyweight to his body. While it can push up to 100% of his weight, it'll only be set to 70-80% in this instance to avoid discomfort during the hours of running.

He'll probably have a decent view out the window though…

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