Yukon Quest: Pelly Crossing: Mackey chases first place

Lance Mackey is chasing the lead and his name is Ken Anderson. The three-time Yukon Quest Champion breezed through Pelly Crossing Checkpoint in much the same fashion as Anderson who left 25 minutes earlier. Mackey stayed a total of five minutes; he came in at 1:15 a.m. and left at 1:20 a.m. Anderson stayed a total of just 15 minutes. Mackey admitted to picking up his pace during the last leg between here and Stepping Stone to make up for Anderson’s one-hour lead out of that stop. Now Mackey is less than a half-hour behind. Mackey also had to make up time after getting lost near Solomon’s Dome just outside of Dawson City, a mistake he has made in previous years. Although he didn’t “freak out” about the wasted time, his dogs didn’t appreciate backtracking. “When you turn them around it breaks their spirit a bit,” he said, adding that he apologized to them repeatedly. Mackey worked at a frantic pace emptying the bags of dog food that were waiting for him and packing his sled. But in five minutes he managed to do all this and regale the assembled crowd with some of the details of his latest trek. “So far everything’s working out nice,” he said before leaving. “I’ve still got 12 dogs and that’s always a pleasure to drive… I think they still haven’t peaked yet.” Pelly Crossing: Anderson breezes through Ken Anderson is in a hurry. He is in the lead and he’s not giving it up. Anderson blew into Pelly Crossing Checkpoint at 12:35, dropped a dog, and was gone by 12:50. Reigning Champion Lance Mackey can’t be too far behind. The two have been switching back and forth between first and second place since they left Dawson City less than 48 hours ago. The last word before Pelly Crossing was that Anderson had left Stepping Stone hospitality stop at 7:50 p.m. and that Mackey had left at 8:48 p.m. Anderson told the small crowd of mostly reporters that it was fun being in the lead but that he wasn’t fooling himself into believing he had a very big edge on Mackey. He also confirmed rumours that Mackey got lost near Solomon’s Dome. That would be the second year in a row that he has done so.


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