Chilean miner finishes Tokyo marathon

TOKYO—Chilean miner Edison Pena completed the Tokyo Marathon on Sunday, shaving more than 30 minutes off the time he set in New York in his second such race since he was among the 33 men rescued in October.

The 35-year-old Pena had been training more than 10 kilometres a day and it showed, as he finished the race through the streets of downtown Tokyo in five hours eight minutes 19 seconds. In the New York City Marathon, he ran and walked on bad knees to finish in five hours 40 minutes on Nov. 7.

“It was not like the New York Marathon,” Pena said. “I didn’t walk, I ran the entire time.”

Pena jogged through tunnels while trapped underground, and word of his dedication inspired New York City Marathon organizers to invite him to watch the race. Instead, he asked to run it.

Pena said there may be more marathons in his future.

“It’s just a big challenge for me,” Pena said. “It’s an incredible thing to do and it’s just amazing to be able to do something like this for a second time. I felt very good about my result today.”

Executives from Remo System, a Japanese maker of shoe inserts and other training products, were in New York for the marathon and were moved to invite him to Tokyo. They worked with Fuji TV to get him into Sunday’s race.

Remo plans to donate 2,000 pairs of shoes to needy Chileans in his honour.

Chilean miners tour Holy Sites

TWENTY-FIVE of the Chilean miners rescued after more than two months underground have toured the holy sites of the Old City of Jerusalem.

The miners arrived on Wednesday, accompanied by partners or siblings, for a week-long visit as guests of the Israeli government.

Their itinerary includes Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Holocaust memorial, as well as the Dead Sea, Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee.

Advertisement: Story continues below They will also visit the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, which is governed by the Palestinian Authority, and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, captured from Syria in 1967.

Some are planning to take part in a communal baptism in the Jordan River, and tomorrow Israeli President Shimon Peres will host the group at his official residence.

The trip was planned well before the current turmoil in the region, and there was a conspicuous absence of any talk about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the upheavals affecting Israel’s Arab neighbours. Reporters focused on the men’s emotions upon visiting Christian and other holy sites after a rescue that many people called nothing short of miraculous.

Since being rescued in October, many of the 33 miners lifted from the collapsed mine have made other trips abroad. In December they were guests of honour of the Manchester United soccer team, and in January they headed to Disney World in Florida.

For some, the trip was a symbolic pilgrimage, with talk of blessings from God. Many wore hats distributed by Israel’s Tourism Ministry bearing the legend ”Israel Loves You.”

”I am happy,” said Jimmy Sanchez, 19, the youngest of the miners, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, venerated as the site of the burial of Jesus. ”I never imagined I would get to the Holy Land.”

Chilean miners’ story: 33 Men

(FOX 25) – It was the most captivating story of 2010. Thirty-three Chilean miners trapped in a mine, only to be found alive and all 33 of them pulled to safety after being trapped beneath the ground for 69 days.

On August 5, 2010, at the San José mine in northern Chile, 33 men were entombed 2,300 feet below the earth when a slab of rock the size of a skyscraper sheared off the mountain and sealed shut their only access to the surface.

The miners were discovered alive 17 days later, and for the next seven weeks after that discovery, as rescuers sought to bring them to the surface, the world watched.

In his book, “33 Men: Inside The Miraculous Survival And Dramatic Rescue of The Chilean Miners,” Jonathan Franklin writes about what those men really endured, and how their experience is shaping their lives since the rescue.

Chilean Miner Edison Pena To Run Tokyo Marathon

One of the Chilean miners trapped underground in 2010 is planning to complete the forthcoming Tokyo Marathon.

Edison Pena has already completed the New York City Marathon despite having knee problems. In November, he ran the US race in five hours and 40 minutes.

It is reported that 35-year-old Pena was invited to enter the Japanese marathon by Remo System, a Japan-based maker of shoe inserts, after they saw him in the New York Marathon. The company is planning to donate 2,000 pairs of shoes to people in Chile in the miner’s name.

Pena, who was one of the 33 miners trapped underground for 69 days, is running more than six miles per day ahead of Sunday’s race.

This year’s Tokyo Marathon will also feature a number of international running stats including Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie in his first major appearance since he announced that his planned retirement has been cancelled.

Chilean Miner: Football kept us alive

“We spent so much time talking about football. It helped the days go faster, or should I say the nights, because it was all dark down there!” 

Franklin Lobos on life down the mine

Little more than six months ago, the name Franklin Lobos seemed destined to fade away as a discreet entry in the annals of Chilean football. This despite the well-travelled former No10’s class-laden performances and thumping free-kick ability, qualities which earned him a berth in La Roja’s pre-Olympic squad which sealed qualification for the Games in Los Angeles in 1984.

Indeed, until 4 August 2010, few football followers knew that Lobos was grafting away as a bus driver in the San Jose mine, 700 metres beneath the surface of the world’s most arid desert. Of the scraps of info his colleagues knew about Lobos’ footballing past, the best-known was his time spent alongside a young Ivan Zamorano in the 1980s at Cobresal, where both players are still considered club legends.

All that must have seemed like a different age, however, after a cave-in at the mine near his birthplace of Copiapo, which trapped Lobos along with 32 of his work-mates. In the dark, with little food and no way of contacting the outside world, the men clung on for 17 days until the rescue operation made contact and ascertained they were still alive. From that moment on, a spellbound global audience hung on every twist in a tale that lasted a staggering 69 days before all 33 were freed from the depths.

Chilean miners considered suicide, cannibalism while trapped: 60 minutes.

The 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for more than three months contemplated suicide and cannibalism before being rescued, according to a report on 60 Minutes to be broadcast Sunday night.

The program is to feature interviews with several of the miners in which they disclose the mental and physical strain they endured while trapped 700 metres underground for 69 days before an internationally broadcast rescue on Oct. 13.

The miners’ accounts of their time underground revealed that as food started running out, the miners considered suicide before above-ground rescuers made contact with them on Day 16.

“I said to a friend, ‘Well, if we are going to continue suffering, it would be better for us to all go to the refuge, start an engine and with the carbon monoxide, just let ourselves go’,” Victor Zamora, one of the trapped miners, told CBS.

Mario Sepulveda, who emerged as a leader of the miners, told CBS that when their supplies dwindled, his thoughts turned to cannibalism to survive.

“Food or no food, I was going to get out of there . . . I had to think about which miner was going to collapse first and then I started thinking about how I was going to eat him . . . I wasn’t embarrassed, I wasn’t scared,” he said.

Also featuring an interview with Jonathan Franklin, an author who spoke with all the miners for an upcoming book, the program reveals that all but one of the 33 are still suffering from psychological issues.

Zamora, for example, reportedly deals with frequent nightmares of his experience underground. Sepulveda gets by with heavy medication and another, Alex Vega Salazar, said he’s been building a wall around his house but doesn’t know why.

Their continued ordeals are a marked contrast from the jubilation that erupted worldwide during their rescue, where they were greeted by Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, tearful family members and a throng of international media.

Chilean miner meets The Christian Institute

The evangelical Christian who was one of 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for two months recently visited Britain and spoke on camera to The Christian Institute.

In a remarkable three part interview Jose Henriquez and his interpreter Revd Alfredo Cooper speak about the amazing events that captured the world’s attention.

Mr Henriquez was visiting Durham Cathedral in the North of England as part of a UK tour organised by the Church Mission Society.

The tour is called “The 34th Man” and features Jose Henriquez describing how his faith in Jesus Christ helped the 33 trapped miners.

During the 69 day ordeal Mr Henriquez asked for 33 Bibles to be sent down to the miners in a small capsule

Speaking after he was rescued Mr Henriquez said: “I believe that the key to all this was in the Word of God, in having believed God”.

He added: “That’s why I say to the whole world that the Lord wants them to believe in Him to believe in His Word”.

Whilst he was trapped in the mine Mr Henriquez led Bible studies twice a day and he has been marked out for bringing “calm, God and unity to the most difficult moments”.

He was praised by one of the team above the mine for the times of prayer and Bible readings which were, “the most special moment for the miners” and he was also welcomed back to his home town as a hero.

Mr Henriquez, who is 54, has also revealed that a number of the miners made commitments to God while trapped underground.

“On the Sunday before we were rescued, I called for a pastor to come, because I am not a pastor,” he says. “So I told my brother in a letter, ‘Bring a pastor that you consider, and that God has confirmed, is a real pastor to come and lead the prayer of salvation.’ And he did that. And around 20 miners said, ‘Yes, they believed in the Lord.’”

Chilean miners in Florida for fundraiser

COCONUT CREEK, Fla., Feb. 4 (UPI) — Thirteen of the miners who spent months trapped underground in Chile are in Florida for a combination of play, work and fundraising.

The group was scheduled to appear Friday night at the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek for a benefit for three U.S. charities, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. They are the United Mine Workers of America Miners Aid Fund, the American Cancer Society and Disabled American Veterans.

At a news conference Thursday at the casino, the miners talked about their 69-day ordeal and about the traveling they have been doing since they were rescued in October. Pablo Rojas, 46, said he has been to Spain, Los Angeles and Britain with a trip to Israel planned later in February.

“What has impacted me the most is the love we have received from others and that means that this crossed borders,” Mario Sepulveda, 40, said. “We feel the love people have for us.”

The dramatic rescue of the 33 men and the stories of how they spent their time underground captivated the world. But the miners in Florida said they realize the world will move on.

Dario Segovia, 48, said he would like to become a vegetable farmer, while Sepulveda suggested the group, or some of them, could become “ambassadors for mine safety.”

Disney Honors Chilean Miners With Parade

Fox – Thirty-one out of thirty-three Chilean miners who drew world acclaim for their resilience and unflagging hope while trapped for more than two months in a collapsed cooper mine got a rare treat on Monday. They met Mickey. And Minnie, and Donald Duck and the other world-famous Disney characters.

The miners were guests of honor at Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida.

The miners rode in antique buses and fire engines –festooned with red, white and blue balloons –the color of both the U.S. and Chilean flags— and otherwise lived-out childhood fantasies.

“This is a dream. I felt like a kid. I enjoyed all the rides and games,” said miner Juan Carlos Aguilar to The Associated Press.

Jorge Galleguillos agreed. “It is a gift. I never dreamt I would be in Disney,” he said after the miners were acclaimed with applause during a parade. “It is a gift from God.”

31 out of 33 Chilean miners are vacationing with their families in Walt Disney World. Four rescuers are also being honored.

Hundreds turn out to hear Chilean miner’s story

MORE than an hour before he was due to deliver his speech, Jose Henriquez sat calmly in a dark corner of East Kirkby Miners’ Welfare clutching a tiny Bible.

A steady stream of people were already shuffling in among rows of neatly arranged tables and chairs in the concert room, eager to secure a space near the stage.

The 56-year-old was one of 33 Chilean miners who were trapped 700 metres underground after the San Jose mine in Copiapo collapsed in August last year.

With millions of people having watched in wonder as they were brought to the surface after 69 days, everyone had questioned how they had managed to survive – especially when they had no contact with the surface for the first 17 days.

So it was no surprise that more than 500 turned up to hear first hand.

“The first 17 days, they were the most difficult and complicated days,” said the drill master, speaking through an interpreter.

After the blast there were no lights, he said, apart from their lanterns. The air pipes had been blown apart by the explosion, but fortunately there were enough small gaps where the air could circulate.

They found they had to stretch out three days of rations, leaving them to eat just half a teaspoon of tuna fish a day as well as taking “enforced fasts.”

As a preacher, the men turned to Mr Henriquez for inspiration and hope.

“I said no problem, I only have one condition. I want you to pray to the God I pray to – a living God. So we all got on our faces and lay down in the dirt, humbled ourselves before the living God who is able to do everything – who could walk through the walls and be there in the mine.”

Mr Henriquez said that daily prayers helped strengthen spirits so they could keep faith that they would be rescued.

It was only after a week that they had the first glimmer of hope, when they heard drilling.

But he said at 700 metres down it was “like finding a needle in a haystack” and the first drill failed to find them.

Mr Henriquez claims it was a miracle that the second drill was on target because it was on course to miss before hitting a rock and changing direction.

And he recalled the “blessing” when capsules were finally able to send down food, water, messages from family, and 33 small Bibles, each bearing one of the miners’ names.

Mr Henriquez was the 24th miner to be brought to the surface and his wife Blanca embraced him tightly as he emerged.

George Atterby, 82, of Skegby, was an audience member with a particular bond with Mr Henriquez. The former miner survived the Sutton pit disaster of 1957 in which five of his colleagues died and 15, including him, were seriously injured.

“I was very excited to be able to meet one of the very men myself. It is a wonderful thing. We have that in common. I think he needs to travel about and explain how they existed underground for so long.”

The visit was part of the 34th man tour – named because the 33 miners felt God’s presence – organised by the Church Mission Society.