Maickel Melamed’s journey to the Boston Marathon finish line was a long one, but he had plenty of people to cheer for him along the way.
Melamed suffers from muscular dystrophy and came all the way from Venezuela for the 119th running of the historic race. And after 18 hours, Melamed became the last person to finish the marathon at about 4:30 a.m.
Melamed soldiered through torrential downpours Monday night, and a loyal crowd full of hundreds of supporters followed him for nearly a full day. It was Melamed’s fifth marathon — he ran in New York, Chicago, Berlin and Tokyo — and because he no longer could run due to the toll the 26.2-mile races took on his body, he decided to finish in Boston, where he received life-saving treatments from Boston Children’s Hospital when he was young.
Photographer Michael Blanchard also followed Melamed from the Fenway neighborhood to the finish line, and he took some pretty amazing photos.
Melamed’s one disappointment was that he couldn’t receive a medal for his efforts, and he hoped that the Boston Athletic Association could get him one eventually. But the city did him one better, as Mayor Marty Walsh presented him with one Tuesday afternoon.