British Astronaut Running the London Marathon From Space

Tim Peake
Timothy Peake of European Space Agency in 2015. NASA/Joel Kowsky via Getty Images

Welcome to his space jam. British astronaut Timothy Peake is currently amping up his physical training in preparation for the 2016 London Marathon, set to take place later this month. The plot twist? He’ll be running it from space.

The former British Army helicopter test pilot, 44, spoke with The Associated Press on Thursday, April 14, and said that he hopes to run the 26.2-mile race in less than four hours, or even three and a half hours “if I’m feeling really good.”

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Peake will traverse the course via the International Space Station treadmill, which has only one major drawback: the harness he wears to keep his feet on the treadmill chafes at his shoulders and waist.

“It’s a great challenge that I set myself, and I’m quite glad this is happening later on in the mission,” he said. Peake is currently on the fourth month of his six-month stay in space, having started his mission in December.

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Peake is no stranger to marathons: The astronaut ran the 1999 London Marathon in about three hours and 15 minutes. (He will also not be the first person to run a full marathon in space. U.S. astronaut Sunita Williams took part in the 2007 Boston Marathon.)

And he won’t be running without support. According to the AP, Peake’s U.S. crewmates Jeffrey Williams and Timothy Kopra will be checking in on him throughout the race to “make sure he gets all the food and drink that he needs to make it through.”

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All the money raised by Peake and his Team Astronaut colleagues — those who are running on planet Earth in solidarity with Peake — will go toward the Prince’s Trust, a charity that helps train and educate disadvantaged young people in Britain.

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