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NASA Space Science

Astronaut to Run the Boston Marathon From Space 176

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the space-racing dept.
BostonBehindTheScenes writes "American astronaut Sunita Williams will run 26.2 miles on a treadmill on Patriot's Day (April 16th for those of you outside of Massachusetts) while runners on the ground will compete in the 111th Boston Marathon, according to this New Scientist article. And yes, she is an actual registered participant who qualified by finishing among the top 100 women in the Houston Marathon in 2006. NASA's press release touts this as yet another space first."
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Astronaut to Run the Boston Marathon From Space

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  • Treadmill vs road (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Liquid Len (739188) on Friday March 30, 2007 @07:35AM (#18541431)
    Yes, I know this is Slashdot. But I'm a geek and a passionate marathon runner as well...
    There's a big difference between running on a treadmill and on a road (besides the boring factor): the relative wind resistance you experience when you move has a very significant impact on your speed. A rule of thumb is that you have to subtract about 1 km/h to your treadmill speed in order to have an idea on how fast you can go on the road.
  • Re:Not to mention... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lord Bitman (95493) on Friday March 30, 2007 @07:43AM (#18541473) Homepage
    moving all your mass forward/uphill vs basically just bouncing up and down. And of course, in space, you don't even have the resistance of bouncing up and down.
  • Re:Treadmill vs road (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Friday March 30, 2007 @07:46AM (#18541489)

    Yes, I know this is Slashdot. But I'm a geek and a passionate marathon runner as well... There's a big difference between running on a treadmill and on a road (besides the boring factor): the relative wind resistance you experience when you move has a very significant impact on your speed. A rule of thumb is that you have to subtract about 1 km/h to your treadmill speed in order to have an idea on how fast you can go on the road.

    I run as well (and cycle), and there's just no comparison. Treadmill surfaces are a little bouncy and provide some restorative force. There's no hills (those little inclining treadmills at 4 degrees aren't like a real nasty hill. And there's the wind resistance as well.

    Although after yesterday - biking at 15-25mph into another 25mph of headwind - I'd have settled for a 1km/h hit. I was getting about a 12 kph hit. Ugh.

  • Re:Treadmill vs road (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Don_dumb (927108) on Friday March 30, 2007 @08:07AM (#18541587)
    Also being a runner and gymrat I have to disagree, I can run long distance fine, but simply cant stay on a treadmill for more than a few miles. There are really two reasons for this -

    The first is that I (and many I know) find my actual running style is different on a treadmill than 'self-propelled'.
    Second is the physcological factors - the fact that when out running, my mind has to do a certain amount of work paying attention to where I am going, the surface, other road/pavement users etc this means consiously I can 'turn-off', whereas on a treadmill I need to think about something, and even though the treadmills at my gym have TVs and they might even be showing something I am interested in, I still spend a great deal of time looking around, still in 'vigilant mode'; The fact that I *can* step off at any time, ultimately means that after 4 or 5 miles I *will* just do that, when you are 5 miles from home, you just keep going, you can stop but you still have to at least walk home -so I keep running.

    The other factor that would make a treadmill marathon more difficult is the lack of crowd, people cheering on and other runners really do spur you on when things get tough.
  • Re:Not to mention... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rly2000 (779141) on Friday March 30, 2007 @08:28AM (#18541751) Homepage

    She's going to have tethers to keep her down. As a runner, I think it would be an interesting approximation of running.

    While the impact against the treadmill could well be compared to gravity, I wonder whether the zero-gravity will make it harder for her heart to pump blood to her legs. I couldn't imagine running upside down.

    Also, having run on the treadmill, I think a good approximation of running outside would be to set the incline to about 1.5%. Of course, that starts to disproportionately work out your quads as opposed to your hamstrings.

  • Re:Pork. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by arivanov (12034) on Friday March 30, 2007 @08:55AM (#18541977) Homepage
    That should actually be the Russian taxpayer (primary life support is provided by the Zvezda module). And I do not particularly recall any historical period when the rulers of Russia gave a flying fuck about their cittizen's thoughts on governmental spending. In fact, modern Russian state is founded on government diverting taxation money from where it is supposed to go. That what Ivan Kalita (the Wallet) did to start the second Russian state and the tradition has carried on from there onwards.
  • by peter303 (12292) on Friday March 30, 2007 @11:41AM (#18544041)
    Many of the popular marathons in the US have same-day events in Iraq. Sometimes the courses are pretty cramped and soldiers do many laps. Probably good for morale.

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