Blog by Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage
Lance Mackey pulled it off. Hans Gatt almost caught him. Jeff King finished his Iditarod career in third place.
The Last Great Drama played out on Front Street Tuesday afternoon, with records created, records shattered, and a brand new Iditarod in the offing.
Lance Mackey won his fourth championship in a row, breaking his personal Iditarod finish record by about a day, but not quite topping Martin Buser’s eight day, 22-hour run.
Mackey lacked but an hour to break that record. Not a great disappointment, considering the four-in-a-row win. Hans Gatt did a masterful job of jumping two positions from Unalakleet. But he couldn’t catch Mackey when Mackey had his mind set on getting there first.
Jeff King, followed the two down Front Street, reminisced about his first Iditaord run, and kissed the race, and a dog named Shannon goodbye with a tear in his eye.
That was all on Tuesday.
The Nome fire siren has been braying intermittently all night, announcing mushers two miles out. Dog drivers have been arriving at regular intervals, and the top ten has made it in, followed by four of the top twenty.
Familiar names are popping up on the Iditarod website’s stats page. Ken Anderson, John Baker, Ramey Smyth, Hugh Neff, Sebastian Schnuelle, Dallas Seavey and Mitch Seavey.
- As of 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, 18 mushers and their teams had made it to Nome.