A Chilean miner who spent ten weeks trapped 2,300 feet underground when a mine collapsed took to the streets in the New York Marathon on Sunday.
And his preparation for the world’s largest marathon with some 45,000 runners from more than 100 countries was anything but the norm…
The 34-year old cut his steel-tipped boots down to ankle height so that he could train, running as many as 7 miles a day in the unbearably stifling heat. He also attached a big wooden pallet to his waist with a rope to build up strength.
“When I ran in the darkness, I was running for life,” he was quoted by Telegraph.co.uk as saying. “I wanted to show God that I wanted to live. I was saying to the mine, I’m going to run until you’re just bored and tired of me, and I did it.”
Pena was invited to take part in the gruelling marathon by organizers who were inspired by his his determination, but he decided to take part “to feel the emotion”.
Pena, who started off in Staten Island at 9:40 a.m., said his aim was to complete the 26.2-mile course in six hours, despite a knee injury that he got while trapped for 69 days in the mine.
Priot to the race, he said: “I have an injured knee from down there (in the mine), but I hope I will be able to finish. I hope the press will not destroy me if I can’t stand the pain in the knee.”
World-record holder Haile Gebreselassie pulled out of the race at the 16-mile mark with an apparent knee injury, leaving Somalia’s Gebre Bebremariam to steal the show as the first man to cross the finish line in Central Park.
Let’s hope that Edison Pena’s knee injury doesn’t get in the way of him making his running dream come true.
To avoid the risk of knee injuries and a number of other running-related injuries, it is important to stretch and warm muscles up prior to training or competing. Yoga is a great way of combining the two. Always seek medical advice and thoroughly research your chosen sport before undertaking any training regime.
Read our coverage about two of Chile’s miner heroes who are suffering from incurable lung disease called silicosis.