Reporting Marla Diamond
NEW YORK (AP/WCBS 880) – The Chilean miner who jogged in the tunnels while trapped underground not only will attend Sunday’s New York City Marathon — he wants to run it.
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.
Marathon organizers still were working to organize Pena’s travel to New York and figure out exactly how to best honor him.
Pena was one of the 33 miners whose saga captivated the world when they were trapped for 69 days after an Aug. 5 collapse stranded them nearly a half-mile underground. The 34-year-old Pena, the 12th miner rescued, is a triathlete. He’s also a big Elvis Presley fan who received an invitation to visit Graceland.
Marathon officials had been in contact with the consulate since the rescue, and last week they received word that Pena had accepted their invitation to attend. Then came Monday’s news that Pena wasn’t content to just be an observer.
“I cannot wait to meet this man,” Wittenberg said.
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