Nearly 17 hours after starting the Bank of America Chicago Marahton, Maickel Melamed, 38, finished the race with an entourage of support behind him. Melamed, who is diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, was the last of more than 39,000 participants to finish the race.
After finishing the race the Melamed tells NBC News Chicago, "My message is: If you dream it, make it happen. Your life is the most beautiful thing that could happen to you. Make the best with that, and share the best of that.” The Associated Press notes that Melamed crossed the finish line of the 26.2 miles race at 1:30 am on Monday with about 100 supporters cheering him on.
Melamed, originally from Venezuela has been running marathons for the past two years both internationally and in the states. He finished the Bank of America Chicago Marathon 16 hours and 46 minutes. The winner of the race, Dennis Kimetto of Kenya, finished the race in 2 hours, 3 minutes and 45 seconds.
As reported by ABC News the Chicago marathon attracted nearly 45,000 runners from around the world and more than 1.5 million people were cheering from the side lines. Due to the tragic events from the previous city-run marathon in Boston, security is Chicago was at an all-time high. According to ABC, the Chicago marathon was equipped with bomb sniffing dogs and private security that over looked Grant Park while Chicago police and federal authorities watched the race course.