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British astronaut breaks space marathon record

Image: Tim Peake
British astronaut Tim Peake runs a marathon on the International Space Station’s COLBERT treadmill, with NASA astronaut Jeff Williams keeping watch. (Credit: ESA)

It’s amazing that British astronaut Tim Peake just broke the record for a space marathon, but it’s almost as amazing that there was a record to break.

“The run went better than expected,” Peake wrote today in a blog post after Sunday’s 3:35:21 performance on the International Space Station.

Peake put the traditional marathon distance of 26 miles and 385 yards on the odometer of the station’s COLBERT treadmill (also known as the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill, with an acronym inspired by talk-show host Stephen Colbert). At the same time, about 38,000 other runners were taking on the London Marathon.

Peake’s time wasn’t close to London Marathon winner Eliud Kipchoge’s mark of 2:03:05, but it was an improvement on the only other marathon known to have been run in space.

NASA astronaut Sunita Williams’ 4:24 time still stands as the space marathon record for women, the Guinness Book of World Records announced in an online posting that also hailed Peake’s performance.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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