In the Brazilian megacity São Paulo athletes from around the world run the traditional New Year's marathon. At the same time in an Amazonian jungle backwater 19-year-old Jô is running like a world champion. He has skipped town with the generous New Year's collection from the church and is being followed by the out-of-breath town sheriff Rui, a fan of the marathon. By pure luck he manages to capture Jô. Rui may have missed the race on TV, but not talented runner Jô. In the cell sit Jô and a dream. He trains Jô for a year until he is at his peak performance. They then make the long journey to São Paulo. Sheriff Rui sends his prisoner and marathon man Jô into the big race, the legendary New Year's marathon of 1999, the race into the year 2000. Surprises await.