More than 200 athletes will try to finish a specially designed running and cycling course in the same amount of time that it takes the International Space Station, traveling at 17,000 mph, to complete one circuit around Earth — a little over 90 minutes.

Media are invited to the sixth annual Racin’ the Station duathlon Saturday, Sept. 30, at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

The timed course begins at 8:30 a.m. CDT with a 3.14 km run, followed by a 23 km bicycle ride, and finishes with another 3.14 km run, with the start and finish line at Marshall’s Wellness Center Building 4315. Race organizers arranged the distance to coincide with the number pi or ?, which is approximately 3.14. The race is officially over when the last person crosses the finish line and is followed by lunch and an awards ceremony at 11 a.m.

The race is designed for athletes of any ability. Participants can even form two-person relay teams, in which one does the running portions and a partner handles the cycling.

Racers will pass many U.S. Army and Marshall facilities on Redstone Arsenal, including the Payload Operations Integration Center, the command post of space station science. At race headquarters in Marshall’s Activity Building 4316, participants can learn about NASA programs, including the International Space Station, the Space Launch System, the United Launch Alliance Atlas IV and Delta V rockets and U.S. Army exhibits of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

The event is organized by the Team Rocket Triathlon Club in Huntsville and by the Marshall Association, a professional employee service organization at Marshall whose members include civil service employees, retirees and contractors. Proceeds from the registration fee for the event go to the Marshall Association scholarship fund.

For details on the race, including course maps and distances, visit the Racin’ the Station Duathlon websites:


News media interested in attending should contact Janet Anderson in Marshall’s Office of Communications at 256-544-0034 by 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29. Media must report to the Redstone Arsenal Joint Visitor Control Center parking lot at Gate 9, Interstate 565 interchange at Research Park Boulevard by 7:30 a.m. Sept. 30. The Visitor Center is closed during weekends, so please follow the escort through Gate 9. Vehicles are subject to a security search at the gate. Be prepared to show driver’s license and proof of automobile insurance.