A demoralized and disappointed Lance Mackey pulled his dog team into Dawson this morning and voluntarily scratched from the Yukon Quest.
“Apparently I’m gonna have as many bad years in a row, as I had good years in a row,” Mackey said.
Mackey has finished the Quest six times, with four wins. He’s been working with a new group of dogs over the last two seasons. He says he can’t explain why the team quit eating and drinking early on in the race. He immediately dropped four dogs in Carmacks, the race’s second checkpoint and his team continued to dwindle from there.
“I pride myself on the way they look, so if they don’t look to me like I want ‘em to look, I’m gonna leave ‘em and dammit, leaving four at a time is hard thing to do but it was the best thing. I wish I had the answers,” he said.
Mackey says it’s only the fourth time in his career that he has scratched from a race. He has no plans for retiring, but Mackey says it could be a while before he signs up for another Quest.
“I can only get beat down so many times before I gotta take a little breather here,” Mackey said.
Mackey plans to enjoy a little respite in Dawson City, before he heads back to Fairbanks to regroup and get his team ready for the Iditarod next month.
Listen to the full story