Lance Mackey has a story like no other musher http://www.mackeyscomebackkennel.com. He is the only person to win the back to back Yukon Quests and Iditarod races which are only a few weeks apart. Each race is known to be grueling on their own, and he won them both, two years in a row . He has won each of them a total of four times--EACH! In 2008, after coming off a win in both the Yukon Quest, then Iditarod, he ran the historical All Alaska Sweepstakes from Nome to Candle and back. Sadly, while his team was in the lead it was hit by a snowmachine in the dark, doing serious damage. He still finished third.
It is not Lance's race record that makes him a favorite in our house. In a business that depends on the care and relationship between dogs and their caretakers, he excels. When his dogs finish, they are standing and ready to keep going. They look like they could turn around and run back to Anchorage. They are an amazing team.
Lance is also a survivor...some were life choices, another was cancer. Because of his throat cancer, his body doesn't create saliva so when he is running dogs, he has to carry water with him. On a long, cold, dry race, that is a big consideration. When his team was hit by the machine, he said it was between him and the driver. He felt he had made mistakes in his past and he was given additional chances, so he passed it on.
The biggest reason Lance is my favorite is that he is so much fun to watch. One never knows what to expect during the race, but every time we have watched him finish his races he is so excited to be there. He tries to go around and shake the hands of those there to cheer for him, ignoring the media with the really big cameras for as long as he can. Have you ever been to a party where the host is so happy you came and lets everyone know it.....that is the finish line when Lance finishes. It would be hard to not enjoy his child-like innocent joy!
|Celebrating with the fans.|
|2010 on Front Street|
The Iditarod is a race that is never over until someone crosses under the burled arches. Will Lance be the second five-time winner? To us, he will always be a winner........