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In Anvik, Mackey’s “Down” But “Not Out”

audio and photo by Laureli Kinneen; text by David Dodman

Sign in sheet

The official sign-in sheet at the Anvik checkpoint; Lance Mackey was the third to arrive.

Lance Mackey has a talent for writing his own narrative: especially when he’s the underdog.

“Ever since I was a little boy,” Mackey says, “I’ve had obstacles to deal with.” His latest obstacle is a simple problem of “numbers.” With days of hard mushing still to go, Mackey has the smallest team in Iditarod: he pulled into Anvik with only nine dogs.

But Mackey insists that, while he’s “underpowered” and “a little down” (dog-wise), he’s certainly “not out.” “I’m not a quitter in anything,” he says, and even though he’s had to drop seven dogs – including his Golden-Harness-winning leader, Maple – he actually says his team has ten dogs, rather than nine.

He counts himself as the tenth.

In Anvik, Lance Mackey talked with KNOM trail reporter Laureli Kinneen about the trail to Anvik – in surprisingly good shape, and not as “sugary” as he’d feared – as well as his outlook for the upcoming run to the (Norton Sound) coast:

Lance Mackey is currently in 5th position; he left Anvik at 2:13pm, still with 9 dogs. Among the pack of mushers who’ve already taken their 8 hour layover on the Yukon, Mackey is 3rd, running behind Hugh Neff and John Baker and ahead of Ray Redington, Jr.