Technology and the London Marathon 2016

Tim Peake

British astronaut Tim Peake will be running the London Marathon – in space. The amount of technology used in marathons has come on leaps and bounds over the years, and we took a look at what tech these runners are using.

44 year old Peake will be strapped to a custom-built treadmill at the International Space Station, as he attempts the 26.2 mile race. He has been at the ISS for the last four months, with two months left to go.

Back in 1999, Peake ran the London Marathon – on earth – in a time of three hours, 18 minutes and 50 seconds. It’s very unlikely he will better that time in space, with the current record belonging to Sunita Williams in 2007. She completed the Boston Marathon in around four hours and 24 minutes.

Unfortunately for Peake, he will miss out on the atmosphere from the crowd during his marathon attempt. With no windows, his attention will be focused on his iPad, as he uses the RunSocial app with his treadmill to create a digital simulation of the run. For anyone who has not managed to secure a place on the London Marathon, you can use that app too, which brings the sights of London to your home or gym.

Those of us back on the ground are also using technology massively nowadays with the marathon. In preparation for the run, most of the 38,000 runners will have completed months of training. Throughout this training, most runners will have downloaded fitness apps, or worn fitness trackers, to allow them to monitor their progress and work towards their fitness goals.

The technology is not limited to those who are running the race, however. If you know someone who is running the marathon, you can actually watch their progress on your phone in real time, using a tracking app. If you have an iPhone, you can download the official app from London Marathon, which is free.

On race day, you can see where your friend is, as the app updates their location frequently, even predicting where your runner will be on the route according to the pace they are going at.

For Android users, and anyone else without an iPhone, you can still track your friend on the web by entering their surname and running number, to see where they are.

Good luck to everyone running!