Lance Mackey made history once again this morning by claiming his second straight Iditarod Championship, arriving in Nome one hour and 19 minutes ahead of his rival Jeff King, who claimed second place. At this time, there are no other mushers into Nome. Mackey completes his “double-double” claiming back to back victories in both the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest in the same year. (He’s won the Yukon four years running now.)
Mackey’s win comes in spite of the fact that we’d been hearing that his team was tired and no match for King’s which was well rested and running strong. But according to this story over at the Eye On The Trail Blog, Mackey pulled a fast one on King by sneaking out of Elim just as King laid down for a nap. From there, Mackey ski-poled for six hours to maintain his lead, and in the end, it was enough to see him all the way to Nome, and his second Iditarod win.
As of now, the race is for third place. The current leaderboard has Ramey Smyth running third, with Ken Anderson in fourth, and Martin Buser holding down the fifth spot. We should see quite a few mushers arrive in Nome throughout the day today, as the 2008 race comes to an end.
I want to extend a hearty congratulations to both Lance Mackey and Jeff King. Both men ran a great race, and Mackey pulled out all the stops to get to Nome first, but the competition, strategy, and gamesmanship between these two Iditarod champions shows why this is still The Last Great Race. Hopefully, both Lance and Jeff, along with all their pups are getting some much deserved sleep right about now.
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