A variety of windfalls — perhaps including book and movie deals and trips to Greece and Graceland— may be on the way for the 33 miners who emerged after being trapped for more than two months beneath the Chilean desert. But already, less than 24 hours after the completion of the globally televised and celebrated rescue, one miner has attracted a singular solicitation: an invitation to the New York City Marathon.
Edison Peña, the 12th man rescued, earned his nickname "the Runner" by going on runs of three to six miles a day through the tunnels of the gold and copper mine, to clear his mind and keep his body in shape while trapped a half-mile underground. Officials for the New York Road Runners, the organization that directs the marathon, said on Thursday that they were reaching out to the Chilean consulate in New York in hopes of bringing Mr. Peña to town for the Nov. 7 marathon as the club's guest. Or, if he chooses, as a runner.
"We want to celebrate him here in New York City on the biggest weekend in running, as he seems to represent the very essence and best of the runner spirit," Mary Wittenberg, the chief executive of New York Road Runners, said in an e-mail message. "He has taken the phrase 'runner for life' to a whole new level."
A spokesman for the Road Runners, Richard Finn, said early Thursday afternoon that the club was trying to make contact with the relevant consular officials but had not yet succeeded.
Mr. Peña's athleticism hit the running blogosphere and prompted coverage by science and health reporters. His choice of music attracted notice as well: Mr. Peña, who is 34, reportedly listened to Elvis Presley on his iPod while running.
In its 41st running, the New York City Marathon is expected to draw a field of about 43,000 runners, a bit more than half of them from overseas. So far this year, 243 participants from Chile are entered. Maybe there will be a 244th.
(Liz Robbins, The New York Times, 16.10.2010)