NEW YORK - A CHILEAN miner ran, walked and hobbled his way to the finish line of the New York City Marathon on Sunday, showing the passionate grit that helped him survive more than two months trapped underground.

Edison Pena crossed the Central Park finish line, with a time of 5 hours, 40 minutes, 51 seconds. He was draped in a Chilean flag as Elvis music played over the speakers.

The 34-year-old survivor had beat his own goal - to complete the course through the city's five boroughs in six hours.

Bags of ice covered his swollen knees as a grim-faced Mr Pena covered the last part of the 42.16km course.

'First, I want to run this marathon, but secondly, I'd like to motivate those people who aren't running the marathon to do so in the future,' he said before starting on Sunday morning. 'I also want to especially motivate young children and youth to run because running makes you free.' Pena's personal victory came just weeks after he was still training in near-darkness, jogging each day 701m underground in stifling heat and humidity. He and 32 other men survived 69 days in the caved-in mine.

He said running was his salvation - his way of proving how much he wanted to live. On this sunny day in Manhattan, the strong will that kept him focused came shining through.

Chile miner finishes marathon