Thursday, March 13, 2008

Lance Mackey Does It Again

This post is too late to be news (no time for writing in the last few days) and anyone who wants to know already does, but I just had to say it here. Lance Mackey won this year's Iditarod Trail International Sled Dog Race on Wednesday morning just before 3 A.M., with an elapsed time of 9 days, 11 hours, 46 minutes and 48 seconds. In doing so, he has done the impossible for the second year in a row. He has won the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod in the same year, with the same dog team. And now he has done it twice, in consecutive years. He has made mushing history, and accomplished something which may very well never be equaled.

Only four mushers have ever won both races: Joe Runyan, Quest ’85, Iditarod ’89. Jeff King, Quest ’89, Iditarod ’93, ‘96, ‘98, ’06. Rick Mackey, Quest ’97, Iditarod ’83. And Lance Mackey, Quest ‘05, ‘06, ‘07, ‘08; and Iditarod ’07, ‘08. No other musher has ever won four Yukon Quests, much less in four consecutive years. That alone is pretty remarkable.

Lance now has his sights set on the All Alaska Sweepstakes, a 400 mile sled dog race in Nome at the end of March. It has a $100,000 winner-take-all purse.

At this point, almost half of the dog teams still competing in this year’s Iditarod have reached the finish line. The first 39 are in Nome, and 42 are still on the trail. Four rookies are bringing up the rear, and all have reached the Bering Sea at Unalakleet. Baring unforeseen problems, they should finish the race in the next two days.

Congratulations to all the mushers, and good luck to the ones with miles still to travel.

photo by Jon Little from Iditarod website,



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