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Rescued Chilean miner to run in New York City Marathon

Pena_300 While trapped in a collapsed mine nearly half a mile underground for more than two months, Edison Pena would jog in the unblocked tunnels, sometimes up to six miles a day.

He just may have been trying to pass the time, but now it appears those workouts will serve as training for one of the best-known races in the world.

Pena has sent word through the Chilean consulate that he is accepting an invitation to run in Sunday's New York City Marathon, New York Road Runners Club President Mary Wittenberg said at a luncheon Monday.

The club, which organizes the annual race, had extended the invitation to Pena upon hearing of his dedication to the sport. The invitation was for Pena to participate in some capacity -- maybe riding in a lead car or holding the finish tape -- if he wasn't up for the grueling 26.2-mile run.

But Wittenberg said Monday, “He absolutely, 100% wants to participate.”

Pena also ran a 10.5-mile leg of a triathlon in Chile on Oct. 24. He was one of 33 miners who were trapped underground for 69 days after the Aug. 5 mine collapse.

He became known as "The Runner" for his daily workouts.

"NYRR wanted to send a message of great support and admiration to Mr. Pena for the heart and soul and fortitude he showed every day by running in the mine," Wittenberg said earlier this month. "He inspired a lot of us, and we just want to say, 'Way to go, well done, we're thankful you had running to help you through such at tough time.' "

-- Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Photo: Edison Pena at the Piedra Roja Triathlon, held in Chicureo, Chile, on Oct. 24, 2010. Credit: Danny Alvea / EPA

 
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