Space for the kids – GOSH patients receive a phone call that’s out of this world

GOSH patient talking to astronaut Tim Peake
Astronaut, Tim Peake called children and young people at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) from his home 400km above the Earth on the International Space Station. Tim awed children and young people by flying around his floating home and answering questions about daily life, the Universe and how it felt to run the London Marathon in space.

“Some things were easier. Some things were harder,” he said when asked how it felt to run the London Marathon.

“I was running at 70% of my body weight, because you can’t run with 100% in the harness that I used to keep me on the treadmill – that made it slightly easier. But what was harder was that all that weight was just on my shoulders and on a small segment of my hip. It’s like running with a rucksack on.

“Also we have two times the amount of carbon dioxide up here. So our air is not quite the same as your air. And that can make you feel less energetic – to make it a bit hard to exercise in that atmosphere.”

Running advice from an astronaut

Nine year old Zak – who has had eye surgery at the hospital – was inspired to see Tim run the London Marathon in zero-G and asked for some fitness tips for his own special race, the RBC Race for the Kids.

“If you’re ready for it mentally, then you’ll be absolutely fine”, said Tim after a slight delay for the signal to bounce off a satellite 30,000 km away, swing down to America, bury itself under the Atlantic to Europe and then scoot across the English Channel to GOSH.

“Make sure that you have something to drink before you run so you don’t get dehydrated. But, just enjoy the experience.”

Enjoying the experience is exactly what Zak has in mind. “I’ve invited some friends to come – and my family," he said. "I’m excited about running Race for the Kids and I’ve been doing it for the last 5 years.”

Race for the Kids

On Sunday 15 May, Zak will join 10,000 others on the RBC Race for the Kids, a 5k family fun run on Sunday 15 May in aid of the hospital. The event will see lots of patients and families walk, run or scoot to the finish line including Zak’s sister Jessica who was also treated at the hospital for a brain tumour.

Sign up on Saturday 14 May between 10.30am and 3.00pm at our Registration Point underneath the ArcelorMittal Orbit Tower at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic park, or we will be taking registrations from 9am at the event on Sunday 15 May.