With an entourage of support, a man with muscular dystrophy crossed the finish line of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon early Monday morning -- nearly 17 hours after he started.
With a time of 16 hours and 46 minutes, Maickel Melamed, of Caracas, Venezuela, was the very last of the more than 39,000 participants to finish the race.
The 38-year-old passed the 26.2 milestone at around 1:30 a.m., surrounded by about 100 people.
"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."
Officials said 40,230 people started the race and 39,115 finished it.