Earlier this afternoon, Lance Mackey had left the last Checkpoint in Braeburn 19 minutes before rival Ken Anderson and reports along the trail to Whitehorse had placed the two mushers eight minutes apart at one stage.
Mackey glides over the Finish Line.
All evening the excitement was palpable as it was truly anybody’s race.
That bobbing light was Lance Mackey – who at 1:23 a.m. crossed the Finish line and made history with his fourth consecutive Yukon Quest victory.
“It feels better because it was so challenging, it feels nice,” said Mackey when asked about win number four. “I’m really impressed with my team, they were up for anything you threw at them.”
“Hats off to Ken too,” continued Mackey as he snacked his dogs. “He really kept me on my toes.”
Ken Anderson glided in to the Finish Chute a mere 15 minutes after Mackey, who was the first person to approach and congratulate Anderson.
“Great race,” said Lance.
“Yeah, you too,” replied Ken.
Mackey was the first to congratulate Anderson.
“Almost everything went how I planned,” said the soft-spoken Anderson. “This was probably the best race I’ve ever had.”
When asked if he’d do it again Anderson replied that he’d had fun and would like to run the Yukon Quest again.
Anderson takes questions from reporters.
Both mushers will now rest in Whitehorse through Saturday to attend the Yukon Quest Meet the Mushers event and the Finish and Awards Banquet. They will then make their way to attend the Iditarod veterinary check next Tuesday.
A tight race for third place in the Yukon Quest is still on in Braeburn. David Dalton and Michelle Phillips are set to leave the checkpoint following their mandatory eight-hour layover at 9:15 a.m. and 9:42 a.m. respectively.
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For more information on individual standings, and final standings (it is not over yet) check out race-updates
On an interesting note, one musher, Donald Smidt, was withdrawn for "failing to provide dog care expected of a Yukon Quest participant." There is some commentary on his withdrawal HERE . He required approximately 22 hours to complete the 99-mile opening leg from Fairbanks to Chena Hot Springs. A leg that other racers completed in about 12. More discussion about it HERE. Oh, and if you think the whole thing is abusive and insane, you'll like this grrl. or SledWatchDog.
MY OWN MUSHING has come to a virtual standstill, as I have been sidelined with a chronic hip condition that has flared up something wicked for the last two weeks! I finally bit the bullet and went in for a chiropractic adjustment where I was told, the pain in my body is not due to a lack of Advil. heh heh.. Hopefully I'm on the mend, and can soon return to fast and fun times on the trail.