Rescued Chilean miner who kept in shape by running the tunnels while he was trapped underground will put the training to good use when he competes Sunday in the 26.2 mile ING New York City Marathon, race officials said Monday.
Marathon officials had invited Edison Pena to watch the race after hearing his story when the miners were rescued last month.
They thought he could ride in the lead vehicle or hold the finish line tape, but never expected the Chilean consulate to tell them Pena wanted to run.
“He absolutely, 100 percent wants to participate,” New York Road Runners President Mary Wittenberg said at a luncheon Monday.
“The ING New York City Marathon is all about inspiration and perseverance, and those values were never more evident than during the survival and rescue of Edison and his brothers in that mine,” said Wittenberg.
“He demonstrated how running can play an important role in our physical and emotional well-being under any circumstances. On behalf of the entire City of New York, we are honored to have him join us for this year’s race,” she said.
Pena earned his nickname by running regularly through the tunnels in the gold and copper mine where he and 32 fellow miners were trapped for over two months. He said he listened to Elvis Presley on his I-Pod while running three to six miles each day while he was trapped a half-mile underground.
The Chilean Miners amazing story touched the world. When it is time to watch the Hawaii Ironman, Boston Marathon (or any other major running events) I enjoy hearing the stories about the athletes lives. I have a felling this story will be told for years.