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Rescued Miner Steals The Show On 'Letterman'

NEW YORK (CBS 2 / WCBS 880) -- Rescued Chilean miner Edison Pena seemed stunned at the hero's welcome he received upon his arrival in New York.


WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reports Pena is ready to run!

He came to the Big Apple just three weeks since he was freed from the mine. He said he's ready to run the New York City Marathon, after being trapped underground for more than two months.

Pena said he ran six or seven miles every day to pass the time and control his anxiety – and to show God he wanted to live.

In steel toe boots cut down to the ankle, he would follow a 1000-yard dark and muddy path, in stifling heat.

"I was going to beat destiny," said Pena, through a translator. "I was saying to that mine, 'I'm going to outrun you.'"

Organizers of Sunday's New York City Marathon invited Pena to come and watch the 26.2 mile race, but they were surprised when he asked to run.

"I wanted to show the world I could run it, and yes I can," Pena said.

Pena also loves Elvis, and would impersonate "the King" while underground to cheer up his 32 fellow trapped miners, and he performed it for David Letterman when he appeared on the late night show Thursday.

The 34-year-old said he and his fellow miners are not heroes, it's just what destiny had in store for them.

He said an injury from the mine accident may stop him from finish Sunday's marathon – but he's certainly going to try.

RELATED: CBS New York Guide to the 2010 NYC Marathon

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