Although he finished after three hours and a half after the winner, the Chilean miner Edison Pena won the hearts of viewers with his effort in New York’s Sunday marathon.
Pena, the 12th miner brought to surface last month after being trapped underground for 69 days, was invited to race by the organizers, after they heard that the 34 year old man was running daily through mine’s tunnels before being rescued. After he stoically endured the problems he had at the knee, Pena finished the marathon in five hours, 40 minutes and 51 seconds, in the cheers of hundreds of thousands of people who attended the race.
”He deserved to run this marathon because I wanted to motivate people. I want to convince them that they can do what you have set in life,” Pena told to the reporters. “In this marathon, I struggled. I wrestled with myself, I struggled with my pain, but I crossed the finish line. I want to motivate other people to find courage to overcome their pain,” he added.
Pena, whose effervescent personality transformed the attraction this week in New York, ran the first half of the race, then forced him to stop the pain from a medical point, from where he left with bags of ice attached to both knees. The rest of the race has come to a close only walking, but found the strength to run the last part up to the finish line in Central Park.
“I could have come here to watch the marathon instead of run. I could just be a special guest, but I wanted to meet the challenge of running,” said the Chilean miner.