Unless you’ve been living under a rock – oops, I mean … It’s a story that cativated the world. 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for over two months anxiously awaiting an improbable rescue. You may not have heard that one of those men, Edison Pena, ran up to ten kilometres through the tunels every day. While waiting for rescue. Not even sure that there would be rescue. Still, he ran. He was nicknamed “The Runner”. Not creative, but fitting.
I like to think I have that sort of strength of character. That I could run away my worries and anxieties and fears. I like to think that I would do that instead of curling up in the fetal position, sobbing hysterically, and wilting away without sunlight. As this marvelous story spread through the media to the runing community New York City Marathon director Mary Wittenberg recognized this act as “a statement about the power and importance of running in people’s lives”. She extended to him an invitation to run (or watch) the NYC Marathon in November.
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 [to the NY Times]. He has taken the phrase ‘runner for life’ to a whole new level.
I hope they manage to contact his people and I hope that the runs the marathon. Or watches from a VIP booth. I bet he could finangle a bib #33 (number of miners trapped) or #12 (his place in the rescue order). In his shoes, though, I would not take advantage of that free subway for the day deal for NYC marathoners. I’d probably never go underground again. Instead I’d take the good from the bad, retire from mining and spend my days as a running role model, travelling to races and telling tales as a guest speaker at race expos about my underground training plan.
Reportedly he listened to Elvis Presley on his runs. I think it’s just a matter of time before the Las Vegas Rock N’ Roll organizers extend a similar invitation. I hope he accepts that one too.
Title: Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out. 2004.