British astronaut Tim Peake has created a new record! He ran the London Marathon all the way from space, in a record time. According to Guinness World Records, Peake has earned the title for the fastest marathon in orbit, completing the 26.2 miles course in 3 hours, 35 minutes, and 21 seconds. In 2007, Sunita Williams had completed Boston Marathon from the International Space Station in 4 hours, 23 minutes and 10 seconds.
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Tim Peake runs alongside 39,000 others
While Tim Peake ran the Marathon in orbit 250 miles above Earth, more than 39,000 runners participated on the ground. A Guinness World Records official was monitoring Peake’s run from the European Space Agency’s headquarters in Cologne, Germany. The British astronaut was helped by a training regime onboard the ISS, and an iPad showing a moving image of the run.
— ESA Operations (@esaoperations) April 24, 2016
— Tim Peake (@astro_timpeake) April 24, 2016
Running a marathon in space has its own set of challenges. He told reporters that it was difficult to get comfortable with the harness system, which was like running with a “clumsy rucksack on.” It keeps an astronaut from floating away from the treadmill in zero gravity. “The perceived lack of gravity deconditions the body in a number of ways,” reports The Guardian.
Microgravity perfect for post-marathon recovery
However, Tim Peake told reporters that zero gravity conditions are a “perfect environment” for post-marathon recovery. “I do think we recover faster up here from any kind of aches or pains,” said Peake. Your muscles are in a completely relaxed state when you get off the harness system. The astronaut also talked about the inspiring atmosphere and crowds when he ran the London Marathon way back in 1999.
The British spaceman used the RunSocial app while running to get a feel of the atmosphere on the ground. The app allowed him to look at the route he was running alongside 39,000 others. RunSocial also tweeted moments during the astronaut’s running, including one where he crosses the Tower Bridge. Tim Peake is the second astronaut to run marathon all the way from space after Sunita Williams.