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Finishing Marathon Last Was a Triumph for Venezuelan Maickel Melamed

It was around 4 am ET Tuesday that Maickel Melamed approached the finish line. The 39-year-old Venezuelan has muscular dystrophy. The heavy rain and cold-punishing conditions didn't stop him. He completed the marathon to support a group that helps educate children in Venezuela. This is his fifth and last marathon.
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/ Source: NBC News

Being last to finish the 2015 Boston Marathon was a triumph for Maickel Melamed and for his native Venezuela.

“I dedicate this feat to Venezuela, we love you and you deserve the best from us,” he wrote in Spanish on his Instagram page.

The 39-year-old has muscular dystrophy, an illness that causes weakness and loss of muscle mass.

Twenty hours and 26.2 miles later, the motivational speaker crossed the finish line Tuesday morning accompanied by volunteers of VAMOS (Spanish for Let's go), an organization that Melamed founded.

“I’m so late,” he joked to WBZ, a CBS affiliate in Boston.

Progress reports were sent from Melamed's Twitter account throughout and others tweeted their support.

"More than 200 Venezuelans accompanied us through the streets of Boston. #SomosEquipo (We're a Team) #VAMOSBoston," said a tweet from Melamed's account.

Melamed has previously participated in the Berlin, Chicago, New York City, and Tokyo marathons, as part of the VAMOS project that aims to inspire people, through sports, to shine and accomplish the impossible.

He told local media that Boston is special because it’s the city where his parents brought him as a child for treatment.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh presented Melamed with a medal on Tuesday afternoon, according to NECN.

Many took to twitter to congratulate Melamed. Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez known for his roles in “Deliver Us From Evil,” and “The Bourne Ultimatum,” wrote, “You are our champion! We love you!”

Video of Melamed receiving his medal was tweeted from his account with the comment in Spanish: "Now with the medal, but more than anything, the heart full of love for Venezuela."