LONDON (AP) — A British astronaut will attempt to become the first man to run a marathon in space, as part of his 173-day mission to the International Space Station.
Tim Peake will run a digital version of next year’s London Marathon on a treadmill as the ISS orbits the earth, at the same time as more than 37,000 people run in the race on the ground.
To combat weightlessness, Peake will wear a harness that tethers him to the treadmill as he runs. He will watch a video of the London course on a big screen in front of him.
“The London Marathon is a worldwide event,” Peake said. “Let’s take it out of this world.”
The London Marathon is on April 24.
NASA astronaut Sunita Williams is the only person to have run a marathon in space. She ran on a treadmill in 1997 at the same time as the Boston Marathon.
Peake ran the London Marathon in 1999 in 3 hours, 18 minutes, 50 seconds. He said he is not expecting to beat that time next year because his medical team will be monitoring his preparations and run carefully to ensure he is at optimum fitness for his return from space eight weeks later.
“I don’t think I’ll be setting any personal bests,” said Peake, who is hoping to finish in less than four hours.
Peake begins his mission on Dec. 15.
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Kendall Gretsch, who won Paralympic titles at the last Summer and Winter Games, added another six gold medals at the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in Sweden last week.
Gretsch, 30, earned seven total medals in seven days between biathlon and cross-country skiing.
Gretsch won gold medals in three different sports across the last three Paralympics: biathlon and cross-country skiing in 2018 (two years after taking up the sports), triathlon in 2021 and biathlon in 2022.
She plans to shift her focus back to triathlon after this winter for 2024 Paris Games qualification.
Gretsch, born with spina bifida, was the 2014 USA Triathlon Female Para Triathlete of the Year. Though triathlon was added to the Paralympics for the 2016 Rio Games, her classification was not added until Tokyo.
Also at last week’s worlds, six-time Paralympian Aaron Pike earned his first Paralympic or world championships gold medal in his decade-plus career, winning a 12.5km biathlon event.
Oksana Masters, who won seven medals in seven events at last year’s Paralympics to break the career U.S. Winter Paralympics medals record, missed worlds due to hand surgery.
The U.S. also picked up five medals at last week’s World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Spain — three silvers for five-time Paralympian Laurie Stephens and two bronzes for 17-year-old Saylor O’Brien.
Stephens now has 18 career medals from world championships, plus seven at the Paralympics.
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Kyle Smaine, a retired world champion halfpipe skier, died in an avalanche in Japan on Sunday, according to NBC News, citing Smaine’s father. He was 31.
Smaine, a 2015 World champion in ski halfpipe, had been doing ski filming in Japan, sharing videos on his Instagram account over the past week.
The native of South Lake Tahoe, California, finished ninth in ski halfpipe at the 2016 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado.
In 2018, Smaine won the fifth and final U.S. Olympic qualifying series event in ski halfpipe but did not make the four-man team for PyeongChang. His last sanctioned international competition was in February 2018.
Late Sunday, two-time Olympic champion David Wise won the X Games men’s ski halfpipe and dedicated it to Smaine.
“We all did this for Kyle tonight,” Wise said on the broadcast. “It’s a little bit of an emotional day for us. We lost a friend.”