Astronaut to run London Marathon in space: 'Let's take it out of this world.'

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Apparently, regular marathon running isn't enough of a challenge for Tim Peake .

Next year, the British astronaut will attempt to become the first man to run a marathon in space, as part of a 173-day mission to the International Space Station.

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Peake is currently training to run a digital version of next year's Digital Virgin Money London Marathon on a treadmill on the International Space Station while it orbits the earth, at the same time as more than 37,000 people run the same race down on earth.

Successful completion of the marathon will make Peake the second human in history to accomplish the feat, after US astronaut Sunita Williams completed the Boston Marathon on a treadmill aboard the ISS back in 2007.

But this isn't Peake's first rodeo. He ran the London Marathon in 1999 in 3 hours, 18 minutes, 50 seconds. He says he is not expecting to beat that time in space because his medical team will be monitoring his run carefully to ensure he is at optimum fitness for his return from space, eight weeks afterwards. He still hopes to finish the race in less than four hours.Peake says one of the biggest challenges he expects to face is the harness system that he'll have to wear to combat weightlessness. "In microgravity I would float if I didn't strap myself down to the treadmill," he explained, "so I have to wear a harness system that's a bit similar to a rucksack. It has to provide quite a bit of downforce to get my body onto the treadmill, so after about 40 minutes, that gets very uncomfortable."

He'll also have a video feed of the London course on a big screen in front of him, which can speed up and slow down to reflect his pace. Said Peake:

The thing I'm most looking forward to is that I can still interact with everybody down on Earth. I'll be running it with the iPad and watching myself running through the streets of London whilst orbiting the Earth at 400km above the surface and going 27,000km per hour.

Peake's mission begins on December 15, and the London Marathon is on April 24. Dare we say, it should be out of this world.

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