A Venezuelan man with muscular dystrophy was the last runner to cross the finish line of the Chicago Marathon of 2013 – nearly 17 hours after he started the race.
Maickel Melamed, 38, of Caracas, Venezuela, made it across the finish line of the 26.2-mile race at 1:30am Monday. About 100 people cheered him on as he finished and he received a finisher’s medal.
“When you give it all you feel peace inside,” Maickel said, “If you dream it, make it happen.” Later, he said, “When you cross this finish line, you think to yourself – I can do anything in my life.”
Maickel started running marathons two years ago and Chicago was his third. He has competed in marathons in Berlin and New York City and plans to tackle the upcoming Tokyo and Boston races. His time for the Chicago Marathon was 16 hours and 46 minutes.
The winner was Kenyan Dennis Kimetto, who finished the course in 2 hours, 3 minutes, 45 seconds.