Thousands of people miss out on a place in the London Marathon each year; one guaranteed way to run the 26.2 miles is to be on board International Space Station.
British astronaut Tim Peake, who is due to blast off to the multination spacecraft on 15 December, will take on distance while strapped to a treadmill in orbit.
On 24 April Peake, who has already completed the marathon once, will be strapped to the treadmill and, with an iPad in front of him, run the London route at the same time as the masses hit the streets in the capital city.
As he runs on the treadmill his speed will be tracked and the view on the iPad will move along as if he had his feet on Earth. Astronauts who get on the treadmill wear elastic straps to keep them from floating away.
Running in space is nothing new for astronauts as a permanent treadmill is set up in the ‘tranquility node’ on the space station while it circles the Earth at 28,000 kmh. Most astronauts exercise for at least two hours a day on ISS to prevent muscle wastage. In 2007 flight engineer Suni Williams ran the Boston Marathon from ISS, in a time of about four hours, 24 minutes.
“I have to wear a harness system that’s a bit similar to a rucksack. It has a waistbelt and shoulder straps,” Peake said in a statement.
“That has to provide quite a bit of downforce to get my body onto the treadmill so after about 40 minutes, that gets very uncomfortable.”