Lance Mackey has won the 2007 Iditarod:
NOME, Alaska (AP) — Lance Mackey won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Tuesday, becoming the first musher to win major long-distance North American sled dog races back-to-back.
Mackey crossed under the famed burled arch in downtown Nome early Tuesday evening, completing the 1,100-mile Iditarod in nine days, five hours and eight minutes.
He celebrated as he came down Nome’s Front Street, alternately waving a fist in the air, then high-fiving some of the estimated 1,000 fans who lined the street, braving subzero temperatures. His family mobbed him at the finish line.
”Dreams do come true, Mama, they do,” Mackey said after the race, fighting back tears.
”This is my passion,” he told reporters, adding he was proud to follow in his father’s footsteps and joked about being thankful his father was a musher and not a lawyer.
Last night I watched Mackey’s finish live on streaming video over the Internet. As he crossed the finish line at 8:08pm Nome time (11:08pm CDT), wearing bib 13, he was overwhelmed with fatigue and emotion.
The number 13 has special significance for Lance: both his father and his brother wore bib 13 when they won their respective Iditarods.
Mackey is a survivor of throat cancer: he has no salivary glands and had to hydrate himself continually throughout the race. He also races with continuous pain in his hands and arms as a result of his treatment. His win is a demonstration of enormous courage and determination. Mackey will take home a $69,000 purse and a new truck. He seemed as thrilled about the truck as anything.