Sunday's marathon conditions weren’t as desperate as those in underground Chile, but 26.2-mile race was still a test of will for rescued miner Edison Pena.
Pena, 34, sailed through the marathon’s first half in an impressive two hours and seven minutes, but suffered pain in his knees — a mining injury — around the 18-mile mark on the Upper East Side. He later ducked into a medical tent and emerged with ice packs on his knees.
Then, showing the resilience and determination that helped him survive 69 days trapped in the mine, Pena soldiered on through the remainder of the marathon, walking for much of it.
He finished his first NYC Marathon in five hours, 40 minutes and 51 seconds.
“I struggled with myself,” said Pena, according to the Daily News. “I struggled with my own pain, but I made it to the finish line.”
By the time he crossed the Central Park finish line Sunday, Pena, who ran six miles a day while trapped underground, was draped with a Chilean flag. And playing from the speakers was his favorite artist — Elvis Presley — singing “The Wonder of You.”
Though the Chilean was doubtlessly the race’s most-celebrated participant, he wasn’t the only familiar face among the runners:
* Celebrity chef Bobby Flay, 45, who reportedly planned to carbo-load with pasta and bagels for the race, finished with a time of 4:01:37.
* “Today” show weatherman Al Roker, who publicly shed dozens of unwanted pounds, crossed the finish line in 7:09:44.
* His “Today” co-star Meredith Vieira beat him with 5:59:00.
* “Subway” spokesman Jared Fogle, who’s also combated obesity, finished in 5:13:28.
* “The Bachelor” stud Ryan Sutter, happily married to “Bachelorette” Trista, had among the best times for celebrities with 3:20:39.