Mackey Arrives First Into Dawson City Checkpoint and Nabs the Gold!

Mackey Arrives First Into Dawson City Checkpoint and Nabs the Gold! For Immediate Release: DAWSON CITY, YUKON (February 14, 2008) – It was a long morning of waiting at the Dawson City Checkpoint, but it was worth it. Three-time Champion Lance Mackey glided into town just a minute after 1p.m. with 12 dogs in harness and one in his basket. Spectators, who began gathering at the checkpoint before 5 a.m., stampeded from the building when the call came, “team spotted!” The faded red glow of Mackey’s parka gradually came into focus as he traveled down the Yukon River and finally onto Front Street into the cheering throng gathered in front of the Information Centre. Mackey was chatty and alert, and very hungry. He joked that he’d use his four ounces of gold nuggets—his winnings for arriving first at the halfway point—on matching jewelry to a nugget stud on his earlobe, part of his winnings from another Yukon Quest. No sooner did the celebrity musher whisk his team off to the dog yard with his wife and dog handler, Tonya, when “team spotted!” rang out again. Ken Anderson, who Mackey claimed he hadn’t seen since Fortymile, eight hours earlier, breezed into town just 33 minutes later. His yellow sunglasses couldn’t hide his swollen and sleepy eyes. He tried to sound upbeat, but he was tired. The brilliant white snow he’d been facing for so many hours had taken its toll. He said he had a difficult time coping with the glare. Both mushers reported a difficult trail the whole way to Dawson City. Mackey said most races allowed him to sit in his sled for awhile to rest. This year, he got knocked out whenever he tried. The terrain slowed him down by four hours compared to his time in 2006. “I’ve done it a lot faster than this,” Mackey laughed. The two can relax now for 36 hours, the mandatory layover time in Dawson City for all Yukon Quest competitors. The scattered Start times from Fairbanks will be corrected at their departure from Dawson City. Anderson will leave seven minutes after Mackey in the wee hours Saturday. Michelle Phillips and Dave Dalton are expected to arrive next in Dawson City. The two stopped this morning at Fortymile and have not left.

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