Heat, humidity and other obstacles didn’t keep Edison Pena from logging his daily miles.
Edison Pena, 34, one of the 33 men trapped in the collapsed San Jose mine in Chile, had been running three to six miles a day while stuck underground for the past 69 days, according to new reports. Pena, amongst the fittest in the group, was the 12th miner to be rescued. Pena earned himself the nickname “the runner” while running back and forth in the mine and listening to music by Elvis Presley on his iPod. According to the BBC, “Pena initially felt very unwell after the mine collapsed and later told his girlfriend it was like a “living hell”. But, according to the BBC’s Matt Frei, he picked himself up and decided to run three miles every day.”
While stuck 2,300 feet under the earth’s surface, Pena and the other miners had run of the mine–literally–and were able to move about freely as fresh air was pumped into the area. Average temperatures hovered around 90 degrees, but the air contained 20 percent oxygen, similar to outside conditions.
“They had the run of the mine,” Jeffery H. Kravitz, acting director for technical support at the United States Mine Safety and Health Administration, was quoted in the New York Times.” With half a mile of tunnels open, they had places to exercise and to use for waste.”
Pena and the other miners were supplied with food to meet their daily nutritional needs and were also instructed to drink double the amount of water they would normally in an effort to stave off dehydration and other undesirable ailments. After some initial resistance from rescuers, miners were provided with 40 cigarettes a day, along with other comfort goods. Doctors were able to monitor the miners’ health through daily video consultations.