Yukon Quest: 1:00 am Tuesday is Mackey’s earliest departure from Chena Hot Springs

Race leader Lance Mackey is now in Chena Hot Springs and currently serving his final, 8-hour, mandatory layover. Lance arrived at 5 pm to begin his 8-hour rest, giving him an even 1:00 am Tuesday February 20th earliest possible start for the 99 mile run from Chena Hot Springs to Fairbanks and the 2007 Yukon Quest Finish Line just below the Cushman Street Bridge downtown. Mackey took just under 6 hours to mush the 42 mile trail from Mile 101 Dog Drop to Chena Hot Springs, which has replaced Angel Creek as the final checkpoint on the 2007 Yukon Quest Trail. The next team is Hans Gatt, who departed from Mile 101 about 14:30 Monday which should put his team into Chena Hot Springs close to 8:30 or 9 pm Monday and would give Hans an earliest departure time of about 5 am Tuesday. Guesses vary for Mackey’s time over the final 99 trail miles into downtown Fairbanks; his team has been averaging about 7 to 8 miles/hour including brief rests along the trail, but the final stretch is longer than the runs Lance made today between Circle City and Central Checkpoints (74 miles) and between Central and Chena Hot Springs Checkpoints (70 miles) meaning it is likely he will rest his team somewhere along the route, at least for a quick snacking break. Depending on trail and weather conditions beginning first thing Tuesday morning, Mackey could cross the Finish Line between 12:00 noon and 4:00 pm. Of course, there are many things that could still challenge the reigning Champion as he steps onto the runners for the last leg of the 2007 Yukon Quest and his attempt to become only the second musher in Yukon Quest history to win three races in a row – we will know better by mid-day Tuesday.


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