This is Maickel Melamed, a 38-year old man Caracas, Venezuela, who suffers from Muscular Dystrophy. I use “suffer” in a broad sense, because Maickel has the passion to be one of the 40.000 people to enter the 2013 Chicago Marathon and the intestinal fortitude to be one of the 39,000 participants to finish.
Melamed had been in training for the race for months, as seen in this clip from September where he knocked out 30 miles:
I couldn’t walk 30 miles if somebody pulled me along behind them in a wagon for 15 of it. Maickel passed the 26.2 mark of the Chicago run at around 1:30 a.m., surrounded by about 100 people, in very last place. The best part of that is how little his placement matters, because he’s an inspiration to anyone who has to battle their body for peace and health every day. Watching him cross the finish line, you get the feeling that he finished first.
Here’s what he had to say after the race, via NBC 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,” he said shortly after finishing the race. “We come here to share. We come here to make a team. We come here to construct the best world that the children — our children — deserve.”