March 30, 2007

Space Race...: American astronaut Suni Williams, a marathoner, qualified for the Boston Marathon by completing the Houston Marathon in 3:29.57, but won't complete her current mission on the International Space Station in time for the 111th running of the Boston Marathon on April 16th. Her alternative? Run the entire distance, all 26.2 miles, in zero gravity, strapped to a treadmill on board the space station. I figure, this deserves the "Extreme" tag.

posted by The_Black_Hand to extreme at 07:45 AM - 13 comments

Shit. I actually meant to link to this article. If somebody could fix that, it would surely be appreciated.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 07:47 AM on March 30, 2007

That's incredible. I had read somewhere else that she is going to break the record for how long an American stays in space (a Russian holds the world record) but I didn't know the marathon connection. Thanks for the link. And NASA can use this good publicity about one of its astronauts, eh?

posted by olelefthander at 07:49 AM on March 30, 2007

More than a little surreal. Thanks for the pointer.

posted by tieguy at 08:03 AM on March 30, 2007

Yeah, "Extreme" kind of covers this, I'd reckon. Dock Ellis may have thrown a no-hitter on acid, but Suni Williams is gonna be way, way higher.

posted by chicobangs at 09:18 AM on March 30, 2007

Yeah but can she make the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs?

posted by HATER 187 at 12:07 PM on March 30, 2007

Hater beat me to it. Are those tethers matched perfect to keep her at earth's gravity level? And she has an advantage of not having to deal with crowds. Cheater...might as well hop in a cab like George Costanza.

posted by timdawg at 12:33 PM on March 30, 2007

It don't count unless the treadmill can simulate Heartbreak Hill.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:36 PM on March 30, 2007

Perhaps no - but it certainly counts for something.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:01 PM on March 30, 2007

I don't think the incline button on the treadmill will have the same effect in zero gravity. Therefore I wouldn't say it's extreme. She's in space after all. Extreme would be strapping on her space suit and doing the distance strapped down to the outside of the space station.

posted by Bishop at 02:18 PM on March 30, 2007

Hate to disagree with y'all, but strapping yourself into a controlled explosion that hurtles you out of the atmosphere is pretty extreme. Any activity that has a survival rate lower than 90% gets my Grapefruit Balls award - whether she's running in one spot or not.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:23 PM on March 30, 2007

I don't care what anybody else thinks...this is the coolest post in Spofi this year. Ms.Williams definitely has a leg up on all the other marathoners.Kudos also to NASA for making it possible.

posted by sickleguy at 05:41 PM on March 30, 2007

Would the sweat just, like, float around her? Gross. Maybe my notion of space travel is stuck in the 20th Century, but aren't they taking a bit of a risk by letting her do this? I mean, what if she seriously pulls a muscle that inhibits her ability to do her job? I don't exactly know what her job is, but I hope it isn't, you know, pedalling or whatever. I wonder what kind of internet service they use to get e-mail. Is dial-up faster in zero gravity? Can they get the World Wide Web, or is that limited to the world?

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 09:40 PM on March 30, 2007

Oh, but think of the money they'll save on gas! And for three hours, all the hamsters inside the engine can take a well deserved break. Admittedly, my understanding of the mechanics of space travel is a little vague in places.

posted by chicobangs at 12:33 AM on March 31, 2007

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