After running underground while trapped for 69 days, Chilean miner Edison Pena now has the opportunity to compete in the world's largest marathon.
According to a report by The Associated Press, New York City Marathon officials contacted Pena after hearing his remarkable story following the mine rescue last month.
Trapped underground for 69 days with 32 other men, Pena used running as his catharsis. Blasting Elvis Presley on his iPod, Pena ran three to six miles every day in the half mile tunnels that the miners lived in.
Marathon officials initially offered him a 'special guest' role, asking him to either ride in the lead vehicle or hold the finish line tape. According to the report, the officials were stunned when the Chilean consulate called them back saying Pena not only wanted to attend, he wanted to participate.
"He absolutely, 100 percent wants to participate," New York Road Runners President Mary Wittenberg said at a luncheon Monday. "I cannot wait to meet this man."
New York City Marathon events kick off on Thursday with the official race starting on Sunday morning.