Peña earned his nickname, “The Runner,” because he logged up to six miles a day through the underground tunnels, killing time during his ordeal.
Race organizers, aware that Peña wanted to run in the marathon, were ready to roll out the red carpet and invite him to various ceremonial events.
They had no idea Peña actually wanted to pound the 26.2 miles of Big Apple pavement.
“We [were] inviting him to be a guest; we [were] not inviting him to run. That’s nothing short of mind-blowing,” said New York Road Runners president and race director Mary Wittenberg.
“Now we’ve had several conversations, and he wants to run. He absolutely 100 percent wants to participate.”
Peña, 34, was one of the most depressed of the trapped men, asking rescuers for Elvis music and a picture of the sun.
Now Peña — who was the 12th miner rescued, at 10:11 a.m. on Oct. 13 — will get a chance to run in one of the world’s most famous races.
“He’s very confident he can make it,” said Chilean Consul General Julio Fiol.