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September 18th, 2012
03:52 PM ET

Astronaut marks first triathlon in space

The CNN Fit Nation Lucky 7 get major props for finishing the Nautica Malibu Triathlon this weekend, and so does NASA astronaut Sunita Williams.

Williams did the swimming, biking and running events aboard the International Space Station using exercise equipment specialized for space.  This makes her the first person ever to complete a triathlon in space.

“I’m happy to be done," she said after finishing her activities. "It wasn’t easy, and I’m sure everyone out in California is excited to be done, too.”

She said via NASA TV that her watch said it took her 1:48:43 for the three events and the transitions, although getting from one activity to another is a little different in space than for Earthlings.

Williams used the onboard stationary bicycle for biking and the space station's treadmill for running. There's no pool on the station, however, so she used a simulated weight-lifting system.

After finishing, Williams gave a shout out to CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta "who is really interested in health and fitness," she said.

Williams is currently the International Space Station Commander for the Expedition 33 crew.


soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Keith

    That 'shed' with the crescent moon behind her on the treadmill – is that what I think it is? Their outhouse?

    September 18, 2012 at 17:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • me too

      Yep, that's exactly what it is. Nice to see the NASA folks still have a sense of humor.

      September 18, 2012 at 20:38 | Report abuse |
  2. theDude

    Your tax dollars at work.

    September 18, 2012 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CD

      You are being snide but this is a great use of my tax dollars. Thanks for taking the time to remind the world that its troglodytes like you everywhere in the world who are opposed to science and research. If it were up to you, no one would fund CERN and there had be no internet and you would stay hidden in your Mommy's basement.

      September 18, 2012 at 19:21 | Report abuse |
    • me too

      Well said CD.

      September 18, 2012 at 20:36 | Report abuse |
    • Stephen Guptill

      Actually CD: We'd be out hunting and gathering, relaxing in nature and prolly be stoned off our ass...

      September 18, 2012 at 22:52 | Report abuse |
    • Nelson

      Stephen, you could still do those things if pot hadn't made you too weak minded to pull your self away from the computer ;-)

      September 19, 2012 at 23:19 | Report abuse |
  3. runningshoeguy

    Sunita, Did you wear ASICS?

    September 18, 2012 at 18:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. ohsnap

    Very very cool. Star Trek, here we come!

    September 18, 2012 at 18:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Joey

    the worst swim simulation I have ever seen. Not even close to the same movements.

    September 18, 2012 at 19:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • me too

      So, do you suggest she do an EVA and swim outside?

      September 18, 2012 at 20:37 | Report abuse |
    • ozob15

      Yeah, they don't have the resources to have the right machines or simulation up there. So I guess they just had to get it as close as they could the real thing.

      September 18, 2012 at 23:36 | Report abuse |
    • Jojo

      That wasn't a triathlon. A tri means three events, more specifically swimming (which she didn't do), biking, and running. She really didn't have a true transition either. This does not count as a triathlon in space.

      September 19, 2012 at 19:13 | Report abuse |
  6. cja

    Real question: How many calories are burned on a weightless treadmill compared to one on Earth at 1G? Is exercise as effective at 0G?

    September 18, 2012 at 21:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Grinch

    Joey – Sunni can swim, trust me. Let me know the next time you see someone go sub 12 for 800 yards on a long course in traffic.

    Great job, Sunni. It's nice to see a rote at something like 1.214e+6 feet AGL.

    September 18, 2012 at 22:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      ? I see it all the time. A 12 minute 800 is not blazing by any stretch. Even at advanced age it isn't considered fast. That is like a 1:30 per 100. S l o w.

      September 18, 2012 at 23:46 | Report abuse |
    • Ontario Triathlete

      1:30 per 100 yards is S L O W? How so? The fastest female swim time in the race was Megan Severa with a time of 12:12 seconds. The last triathlon I did (Lakeside Triathlon in Ontario, a swim pace of 1:38/100m would have placed her as the fourth woman out of the water. Perhaps, Mike, you should actually get out of your basement and into some sunlight now and again. Perhaps swim a length or two of a pool, or even – god forbid – inform yourself before you start disparaging the accomplishments of others. I'd love to be able to swim that "S L O W"

      September 19, 2012 at 11:05 | Report abuse |
  8. puckles

    Too bad Man NEVER landed on the moon. All you fools had the fleece pulled over your eyes in the word's biggest scam to ever be pulled off!!!!!!!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA LOSERS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 18, 2012 at 23:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Ed

    Being born on third and one half base has its advantages. Bravo!!

    September 18, 2012 at 23:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. BackOffManImA_Real_Scientist

    1. Puckles is full of it; grab a telescope and see for yourself. The landing sites had to be on the light side for communications to work. Go to Space Center Houston if you want to see much more vivid evidence that we had the technology to do it.

    2. Sunni wasn't actually in the race–she did not register. Also, she was not physically present at the race. Thus, she did not compete in a triathlon. Saying so is sheer puffery–even though she did do a good job with the exercises.

    3. I'm sure the crescent moon was paid for by some other country's taxes anyway, or else privately "funded". Let the poor folks sealed in the flying tube-house out there have their fun for sanity's sake.

    4. CD: stop railing against the Internet. It makes you look both hateful and stupid. Silly comments are part and parcel of that "Freedom of Information" we all should value so very much.

    September 19, 2012 at 00:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. USA

    Mittens you have my vote : )

    September 19, 2012 at 00:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. bezerkur

    puckers I believe you have drank to much conspiracy theory kool-aid. Also the twin towers did go down with out the help of a secret demolition team appointed by the government. Bigfoot is a hoax and so mediums who can speak to the dead. Have a nice day.

    September 19, 2012 at 08:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. bezerkur

    yep typos. sorry

    September 19, 2012 at 08:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. amid

    first how does weightlifting simulates swimming and second that took so little effort to do a triathlon since there is no gravity weakening your muscles.

    September 19, 2012 at 19:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. jaimie

    Awesome

    September 19, 2012 at 23:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Rick Morris

    Way to go, Commander Williams! We are so glad you did this, and in support of our Fitnation Team. I was thinking about you during the run portion in Malibu. Laughbly, I even looked up to see if I could spot the space station in the sky (I've done that during the night before)! Maybe I could be the first civilian to do a tri in space one day?

    September 20, 2012 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
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    September 21, 2012 at 04:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. trihardcarlos

    It was an honor to race with you Commander Williams!! Thanks for all you do for this great nation!!

    September 22, 2012 at 22:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Maggie McDuh

    Congrats on the Triathlon Sir! However, is CNN broken? The top stories have been the same for an entire week. No news for a week? I'd seriously rather hear about the Mars rover's latest tire twitch than nothing at all.

    September 23, 2012 at 09:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. S A B

    Lets see if any of yall try that up there good job lady

    September 24, 2012 at 13:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Jim Dandy

    Ok uh yeah triathlon in space....righhhhhhhht. That training will come in real handy when we the people of Earth leave this beautiful blue paradise for the nearby Planet of Bimbo uh excuse me Nimbus III. Wouldn't be wonderful when we all can use tax payers dollars to fly to nowhere, to run, bike and swim without water to get to nowhere. In case you rocket scientists and politicians haven't noticed there are earthlings down here who cannot run bike or swim or even eat. Don't you think that we could use the money for more earth bound purposes. This type of news is so pathetic and repulsive.

    September 25, 2012 at 09:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Jim Dandy

    Anybody who supports this, we loyal earthlings are going to hunt you down and turn you in for stealing, cooking and smoking moon rocks

    September 25, 2012 at 10:00 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.