The man who gave new meaning to the phrase running for your life was on the move again. This time it was in the Tokyo Marathon, where he set a new personal best. Edison Peña, 35, was the 12th of the 33 Chilean miners rescued in October after being trapped for 69 days in a collapsed mine. Peña became known as the Running Miner for his daily jogs through the mine's pitch-black tunnels. For Peña running was a way to hold onto hope. "When I ran in the darkness," he said, "I was running for life."
His life is no longer on the line, but Peña's running has continued. In November, New York City Marathon officials invited him to watch their race and were shocked when he chose to run. In a premarathon press conference, Peña charmed the press by crooning Elvis, and he went on to finish the race in five hours and 40 minutes despite never having run more than 10 miles. Representatives of Remo System, a Japanese shoe-insert company, were so impressed with Peña's spirit in New York that they invited him to Sunday's race. Peña sliced more than a half hour off his marathon best, coming in at 5:08:19.
In New York sore knees left Peña walking, jogging and hobbling to the finish. But in Tokyo, Peña did not walk a step of the 26.2 miles. "I ran the entire time," he said. "It's just amazing to be able to do something like this for a second time."