Great Job Lance Mackey! Another Great Iditarod!

This year the  Iditarod was won by someone new, John Baker.  And did it in record-breaking style with both the fastest time and as the first Alaskan Native tribesman to win.

But, that takes nothing away from Mackey’s race.  He did remarkably well  against huge odds – his team suffered from illness and injury early on; having only 9 dogs for most of the race.  Lance had to drop Maple, his superstar lead dog and last year’s Golden Harness winner, early on in Rohn.  When he crossed the finish line in Nome he only had 7 dogs.   A musher must have 6 or more to still compete in the Iditord.  Lance had one more than he needed.  What’s more important is that they looked happy and healthy.  They were strong, and all but one had never been to Nome before.

In typical Lance Mackey fashion, when asked if he was disappointed that he didn’t win number 5 in a row, Lance flipped the question on its head.  As Lance saw it he had a good race.  He got 7 new veterans and one new leader out of the deal.  Since Nikolai, his remaining leaders “gave him the middle finger” (as Lance put it); so a dog name Wilson, tail wagging the whole way, led the team in single lead to Nome.

Being that Lance is the 4 time defending Champ, that’s back-to-back-to-back-to-back Champ, reporters all along the trail kept asking if he was worried, if his hopes for a 5th win were dashed, if he was disappointed he didn’t win.  Basically, trying to make this Iditarod seem like a failure.  What I love about Lance Mackey is he can take a negative situation, flip it around and see it in an incredibly positive perspective.  His perspective on life and positive outlook on situations is something to be admired.  As to that “loss” this years, here’s another classic Mackey-ism.

“The top 15 guys and some of the ones behind me have been trying to beat me for the last four years,” the four-time champion told ADN after finishing the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 16th place.

“They all got their shot at once,” said Mackey, who arrived at the finish of the 1,000-mile race with seven of his original 16 dogs.

“So now it’s over with,” he said. “I’ll be back.”

Lance ,we love you!  You remind us to keep focused on the positive and dump the negative. That there’s an accomplishment in everything.  You remind us to take life a little less seriously, be a little more proud of ourselves, enjoy each day more and to above all us do it with good humor and a laugh.

Lance congratulations!  All your fans are so proud of you!  You had another great Iditarod!  You will always be the Incredible Lance Sir-Wins-A-Lot Mackey!  And I will be here next year rooting for you and your amazing dogs as you go for another dog truck and a 5th win.  As for those bragging rights….as you so eloquently put it in an interview during this Iditarod – you’ve accomplished so many “impossibles” (winning back to back Yukon Quests and Iditarods, twice, beating throat cancer, finishing with 15 dogs during one horrendously stormy Iditarod, and winning 4 back to back Iditarods, including the year after Larry retired), no one can ever take that away, you will always be Great and have all the bragging rights.

If anyone knows how Larry’s doing drop me a line or comment.  He has his own fan following and since he’s been retired we miss seeing him on the trail and would love to know how the cute Champs doing in retirement.

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~ by Genevieve Hathaway on March 21, 2011.

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