New York, Nov 5 (ANI): Freed Chilean miner Edison Peña delighted New Yorkers today in a trio of high-profile appearances before his dream dash in the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday.
Just weeks after being rescued from a Chilean mine, Peña, who survived 69 days underground, was greeted by world-class runners Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia and Henrik Ramala of South Africa.
The Chilean miner said today that "it's a dream come true" to be able to run in the world's biggest race.The first dream come true was seeing the light of day again, and I had to go through all of this to be here today. And I did!" The New York Post quoted Peña, as saying.
Talking at the "Late Show with David Letterman," the miner who was rescued just three weeks ago along with 32 of his colleagues, said he kept his sanity during his underground ordeal by jogging three to six miles regularly.
"What I thought as I ran in the mine was that I was going to beat destiny-that I was going to turn the tables on destiny. I was saying to the mine, 'I can out run you. I can run until you are bored." he added.
Peña, who earned his nickname, The Runner, said that although it was dark in the mine, he used his miner lamp to run underground. He also talked about finding solace in listening to Elvis on a specially-delivered MP3 player while being stuck for 69 days, the paper said.
Peña's nightmare turned into a dream on October 13, when he and the other 32 miners were rescued. Now, he would be one of a record 45,000 runners who will hit the pavement on Sunday morning in the marathon.I haven't run in a race in a long time, but I have been amateur running for a very long time," he said. "In my hometown I run all the time."
He is scheduled to visit the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty tomorrow. lvis Presley Enterprises said he'll be a guest of honor at Graceland from January 6 - 9 for celebrations of what would have been The King's 76th birthday, the paper added. (ANI)