Defending champion Lance Mackey repeats Iditarod victory | AspenTimes.com
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Defending champion Lance Mackey repeats Iditarod victory

Rachel D'Oro
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
Lance Mackey sits with one of his dogs, Handsome, after winning the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Nome, Alaska early Wednesday March 12, 2008. Mackey won his second consecutive Iditarod, completing the 1,100-mile journey across Alaska in just under nine and a half days. (AP Photo/Al Grillo)
AP | AP

NOME, Alaska ” Lance Mackey won his second consecutive Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, completing the 1,100-mile journey across Alaska in just under nine and a half days.

The 37-year-old throat cancer survivor from Fairbanks and 11 dogs crossed the finish line under Nome’s burled arch at 2:46 a.m. ADT Wednesday.

He yelled “Yeah, baby!” as he drove his team down Nome’s Front Street. Fans mobbed him along the final 10 blocks, slapping his hand.



“I’m not much to brag very often, but damn, I’m going to this time,” he said. “I don’t know exactly how to explain it. I’m just blessed with an incredible dog team.”

His family greeted him at the finish line and he received congratulatory phone calls from his father, Dick Mackey, a former Iditarod champion, and Gov. Sarah Palin.




Palin told Mackey: “You’re a hero, and truly an inspiration to all of us.”

For much of the race Mackey tussled for the lead with four-time winner Jeff King of Denali Park, who was about an hour back. He also struggled with dogs stricken with diarrhea and slowed by unseasonably warm weather over much of the trail.

Wednesday’s win was a repeat of Mackey’s 2007 feat when he became the first musher to win back-to-back runs in the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race and the Iditarod in the same year. Last month, he won his fourth straight Yukon Quest.