Updated: Apparently, Mackey hasn’t quite crossed the finishline yet, and neither has anyone else. The article that I had used for this story was posted by Examiner.com, and has now been pulled from the site, so like everyone else, we’ll wait and see who makes it to Nome first, second, and third. I’ll update this story as more solid information comes in.
Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss. Lance Mackey claimed his fourth straight Iditarod Championship today by reaching Nome ahead of chief rival Jeff King, who was the second man to cross the finish line, and it appears that Hans Gatt will take third.
Mackey left White Mountain this morning, following his mandatory eight hour rest, and had a one-hour, 57 minute lead on Gatt at that time. As he sped off on the final leg, he bid the gathered crowd farewell, telling them “I’ll see you in Nome.” A few hours later he made good on his promise, and made history in the process. Mackey is the first person to ever win four consecutive Iditarod sled dog races, something that will surely cement him into the lore of that great event.
The end of the 2010 race will be a bit bittersweet for fans, as both Mackey and King have announced that this will be their last go at the Iditarod. Between them, they have eight championships, and have battled one another closely over the past few years. If they hold true to their word, and do retire from the Last Great Race, it will really open up the field next year.
Currently, the leaderboard has Ken Anderson, John Baker, Hugh Neff, Ramey Smyth, Sebastian Schnulle, and Dallas and Mitch Seavey rounding out the top ten. All of those men are reportedly into White Mountain, and will be making the final dash to Nome soon.
Congrats to both Lance and Jeff for amazing careers. You’ll be missed.