It's one of the great examples of the power of the human spirit.

A Venezuelan man with muscular dystrophy ran the Chicago Marathon this past weekend.

Maickel Melamed, 38, needed almost 17 hours to complete the 26.2-mile race. Officially, it took him 16 hours and 46 minutes. There were about 100 people on hand when he crossed the finish line around 1:30 in the morning.

Melamed, who had already run two other marathons, says he hopes he can be an inspiration to others:

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. 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."

More than 40,000 people began the race, with about 39,000 finishing it. You can watch Melamed talk about his experience below: