SCIENCE

This Astronaut Is Going To Run The London Marathon In Space

Tim Peake will attempt the course virtually as he orbits the Earth at about 17,000 miles per hour.

Next year's London Marathon will be out of this world.

As more than 37,000 runners hit the streets of the English capital on April 24, 2016, British astronaut Tim Peake will run the race virtually, while strapped to a treadmill on the International Space Station.

Peake, 43, will cover the 26.2 miles while orbiting the Earth at approximately 17,000 miles per hour, according to a YouTube video posted by event sponsors Virgin Money on Friday.

Using a special treadmill video app, Peake will be able to see how far he's run and exactly where he is on the marathon route at any given time. His progress will be charted by a virtual reality avatar wearing an astronaut suit, Virgin Money said in a press release.

The former British Army helicopter pilot last ran the London Marathon in 1999 and finished in 3 hours and 18 minutes, according to the Evening Standard. He is not expecting to beat that time in space, however.

"I don't think I'll be setting any personal bests. I've set myself a goal of anywhere between 3:30 to 4 hours," Peake said, according to the Virgin Money press release.

He said one of the biggest challenges of the race would be 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," he said in the video. "That has to provide quite a bit of down force to get my body on to the treadmill, so after about 40 minutes, it gets very uncomfortable." 

Peake is the first Briton chosen by the European Space Agency for a mission on the ISS, and launches into space for his 6-month mission from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on Dec. 15. 

During the race, he will be monitored by a medical team at the European Astronaut Center in Cologne, Germany, which is preparing him for his return to Earth eight weeks later.

Race director Hugh Brasher said he hoped Peake would inspire more children to explore science and space.

NASA's Sunita Williams ran the Boston Marathon on the ISS in 2007, according to Space.com. She later completed a triathlon in space in 2012.

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