British ESA astronaut Tim Peake is inviting runners all round the world to run with him as he trains for the Digital Virgin Money London Marathon on the treadmill aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

To enable as many people as possible to join Peake on his training runs, the Digital Virgin Money London Marathon is now available to download FREE from RunSocial, a mobile app on iOS.

Peake is using the Digital Virgin Money London Marathon for some of his training runs on the ISS treadmill and will be tweeting the times of his training runs on @astro_timpeake, which will be retweeted by @LondonMarathon.

“It can be lonely pounding out the miles on the treadmill in the ISS,” said Peake. “It would be fantastic to run with other people and see their avatars on my screen as I do my training. Only 50 days to go now!”

The first opportunity to train with Peake will be at 10:00 GMT on Sunday 13 March. Full details on how to participate in that training run will be announced next week.

Peake, who is running to raise awareness for The Prince’s Trust, will become the first man to run a marathon in orbit as he takes on the challenge of the 26.2 mile distance on Sunday 24 April. He will start at 10:00 GMT, the same time that the 37,000+ Earthlings set off from Greenwich, but Peake will be wearing a harness that tethers him to the treadmill as he sees and runs through an HD video of the iconic London course using RunSocial.

“Millions of people all over the world are following Tim’s mission in space,” said Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon. “Now is the chance for runners to train with him and help him as he prepares for this extraordinary marathon on the International Space Station.”

Maintaining fitness during the six month missions is extremely important for astronauts due to the negative effects on bone density and muscles caused by prolonged periods in microgravity.

Visit www.runsocial.com to find out more or download the RunSocial app from the App store.