Missing Italian Marathon Runner Found After Two Days Riding Subway

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An Italian man reported missing shortly after completing the NYC Marathon was found on Tuesday. For two days the non-English-speaking runner, Gianclaudio Marengo, 30, rode the subway, survived on slices, and slept on the street before being discovered by an off-duty NYPD officer. Marengo, still wearing his running bib — number 23781 still affixed to his chest — was reported missing to the Italian consulate by the team he ran with.

They had been unable to locate him shortly after finishing the race around 3 p.m. on Sunday. 

The off-duty cop, Man Yam, recognized Marengo in a true moment of New York serendipity, having read a Daily News article on the missing Italian moments before coming face-to-face with him on the 2 train. Yam told his “favorite” paper “he had dried lips and his eyes were wandering. It was my gut feeling, ‘This is the guy.’”

Marengo, in addition to struggling with the language barrier, is a former heroin addict. The rehabilitation clinic Marengo called home for the last three years participates annually in the marathon, flying over their running team composed of rehabbing patients. In a brief statement on its website after his discovery, the San Patrignano clinic refuted initial reports that Marengo was mentally handicapped, instead describing him as a "fragile person, vulnerable, and very emotional after years of drug abuse." 

Oddly, the number on Marengo’s racing bib was registered to another man. Number 23781 was associated with Antonio Boschini, 57, who finished the race in four hours and 44 minutes. "We are currently looking into the details surrounding the registration of the bib that he ran with," said a spokesperson for race organizers the New York Road Runners.