Yesterday at 5:59pm CDT Lance Mackey made Iditarod history by becoming the first musher to win the grueling 1,049 mile race in four consecutive years:
No other musher has won four Iditarods in a row. Mackey’s time into Nome — 51 seconds under nine days — was the second-fastest in the 38-year history of the race. He arrived with 11 of the 16 dogs he started the race with.
“He could take your dogs and beat his team with your dogs. That’s how good of a musher he is,” said Hugh Neff, a Mackey friend who sometimes raced alongside the Fairbanks musher in the Iditarod and Yukon Quest. “It ain’t just about the dogs — it’s about him. And the magic he has that nobody else seems to have.”
Mackey’s win relied on what’s become his trademark of surprisingly long runs with little or no rest in order to outpace faster dog teams. With his famed lead dog Larry now running with Jamaican musher — and Mackey apprentice — Newton Marshall, the 39-year-old relied on leaders Maple and Rev.
I was busy with a client so I was unable to watch him cross the finish line. However, my wife was glued to the set, watching via video streaming over the Internet.
The race is far from over. As of this writing fewer than 15 mushers had completed the race—there are still 50 some-odd to go before the red lantern is hung out and this year’s Iditarod is completed.
The picture above is from the Anchorage Daily News, the best source for Iditarod coverage.