Rescued Miner Edison Pena to Compete in NYC Marathon


Competing in a marathon takes grueling and dedicated training. No one understands that better than Edison Pena, one of the 33 miners rescued from a collapsed Chilean mine last month. He trained during the 69 days he was trapped a half-mile underground. Sunday, he will compete in the ING New York City Marathon.

"When I ran in the darkness, I was running for life," Peña, 34, said through an interpreter. "I was running to show that I wasn't just waiting around. I was saying to that mine, 'I can outrun you. I'm going to run until you're just tired and bored of me.'"

Pena, called both “miner number 12” and the “Running Miner,” ran each day in mining boots he cut down with electrician’s pliers through a 1,000-yard tunnel, sometimes dragging a pallet behind him to increase the intensity of the workout.

Read: Rescued Miners Safe, May Face Continued Health Problems and Chile Miners Well-Being Will Suffer


Common-law wife Angelica Alvarez feels he may be taking on too much too soon. “Edison isn’t the same person he was before the accident. He is anxious and has trouble focusing. He wants to live fast, dive into everything. I keep telling him to pause, to reflect.”

Also concerning is that Pena has never run more than 10 miles before. Underground, his regimen remained between three and six miles. He was initially invited to the marathon as a VIP, but insisted he wanted to run. He says he wants to feel what the New York Marathon feels like. He thinks he will complete the 26.2 miles in about six hours, despite having a “cranky knee.”

Read: How Safe is Marathon Running?

He also has a message for would-be runners/exercisers. “I found a way to run,” he said. “I didn’t say ‘I can’t.’”

Pena will have a running companion by his side. You will also recognize him because, unlike other runners only distinguished by a number, he will have his name on his bib. Oh, yeah, and he will be the one with thousands of fans who will cheer because of his triumph over great suffering.