Nasa astronaut Sunita Williams completed the first triathlon in space, running, biking and ‘swimming’ as, 250 miles below, athletes did the same at the Nautica Malibu Triathlon in Southern California.
After ‘swimming’ half a mile, biking for 18 miles and then running for four miles, Williams made an off-world-record of one hour, 48 minutes and 33 seconds – although these figures make no account of time zones.
The space station has a stationary bike and a treadmill, while harnesses and straps substitute for gravity and stop astronauts flying into the walls.
While there is not enough water to fill a swimming pool on-board, Williams used special weights on board to simulate the swimming section, which is a cross between weightlessness and resistance training.
“I’m happy to be done,” she said after the race. “It wasn’t easy, and I’m sure everybody in California’s very happy to be done too.”
“A big shout out to our astronaut strength and conditioning folks, who were really interested in this and who got this whole workout together,” she added.
Williams was last on the ISS in 2007 where she again showed up those of us back on Earth by running a marathon in space, finishing in four hours and 23 minutes.
WIlliams and her crewmates, Yuri Malenchenko of Russia and Akihiko Hoshide of Japan, will return from the ISS in November.