Chilean Miner Fights Knee Pain, Fatigue to Finish Marathon

Sunday, Nov 7, 2010  |  Updated 4:14 PM EDT
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Images from the 2010 NYC Marathon

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NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 07: Edison Pena (C), one of the recently rescued Chilean miners,poses for photos after completing the 41st ING New York City Marathon in Central Park on November 7, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

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A Chilean miner who jogged miles underground while waiting to be rescued fought off fatigue and knee pain on Sunday, completing the New York City Marathon in 5 hours and 40 minutes.

Edison Pena started off in Staten Island at 9:40 a.m., hoping to cover the 26.2-mile-course through the city's five boroughs in six hours. He beat that goal by 20 minutes.

He ran the first half in a respectable two hours and four minutes, but Pena, who only logged around 6 miles a day as a jogger, then felt the pain set in.

He stopped into a medical tent and had ice packs strapped to the knees.“Bad, bad, bad, very bad,” Pena, 34, told the New York Post as walked past the mile 20 marker in the Bronx today.

Pena started the race with the best intentions.

"First, I want to run this marathon, but secondly, I'd like to motivate those people who aren't running the marathon to do so in the future,'' he said through a translator. "I also want to specially motivate young children and youth to run because running makes you free.''

The 34-year-old was among the 33 miners rescued last month after spending 69 days trapped 2,300 feet underground by a cave-in. An avid runner, he jogged several miles every day through tunnels. He had cut his steel-tipped electrician's boots down to ankle height so he could train each morning and afternoon along the rocky, muddy 1,000-yard corridor where the men were trapped.

He built up strength by dragging a large wooden pallet that was attached to a cord tied to his waist.

NYC Marathon officials heard about Pena's subterranean training and planned to invite him as an honored guest. But he wanted to actually run the race.

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