Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Double-Double for Lance Mackey!

Lance Mackey with lead dogs Larry(L), and Handsome.

Yukon Quest winner in 2007 and 2008, and Iditarod Champion in 2007 does it again, and claims the Iditarod 36 victory for his own!! He is the first, and second man, to win them both in the same year. For his Iditarod victory he received $69,000, and a brand new truck (the rig he won last year went to his wife, so maybe this year he can keep it for himself!) There is a super article HERE by Jon Little. An excerpt :

..."The old Mackey magic was back. They trotted smoothly up to Elim. There, he set a trap for King. Mackey had his cooker going and was feeding his dogs when King pulled in, just three minutes behind him. King, who’d been exhausted since Kaltag, fed his team and lay down for a quick nap. Mackey sprung up when he heard the first snore and snuck out. King jolted awake 30 minutes later, figured out Mackey was gone, and got his own team up and out of the checkpoint. But he’d lost an hour on his rival by then.

On the ice out of Elim, hoping his ruse worked, Mackey wondered. “If this actually works, it would be one of the coolest things I’ve done in the race,” he said. “I don’t know how else to out-run him.”

It worked, changing the momentum for good. (By the way, the word “ruse” is based on an old French word that means “the dodging movements of a hunted animal.” That perfectly describes Mackey at that point in the race.)...."

Handsome moves in for a smooch...Jeff King came in 2nd by about an hour. ...that same fateful hour that Lance gained in Elim. He said in an interview that Lance was "hungrier" (for the victory.)

Both drivers are set to run in the All Alaska Sweepstakes in a week and a half, which starts and ends in Nome. Before the Iditarod kicked off this year, Mackey said that his real focus was the 400-mile Sweepstakes and its winner-take-all $100,000 purse.

The contenders for the remaining top ten places should be rolling into Nome shortly. Check out Race standings HERE. Race images by the PhotoPro Jeff Shultz.

more later...

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