He came in last. Dead last. He didn’t finish the race until the day after it started. But in another sense, Maickel Melamed won the Boston Marathon. Just like he won the marathons in New York, Chicago, Berlin and Tokyo before that. But Boston is the marathon of marathons–and it’s Melamed’s greatest achievement. He finished the 26.2 miles in just under 20 hours, walking the entire way.
See, the walking itself is very nearly a miracle. The 39-year-old Malamed, a native of Venezuela, has a rare muscular disorder that makes walking extraordinarily difficult. A crowd of supporters, winners themselves, walked with him for all 20 hours, even holding him up during the numerous times his body gave out on him. Malamed walks to spread a message of peace. He walks to show that nothing is impossible. The 2015 Boston Marathon, he told reporters, was his last. His body won’t permit another. But he is forever Boston Strong, as the motto goes. The City of Boston gave Melamed a special medal for finishing. The world should give him and his accomplishments far more than a fleeting moment’s reflection.
— Bernice Corpuz (@BerniceWBZ) April 21, 2015