Lance Mackey, injured Jim Lanier, and Cim Smyth scratch from Iditarod

Lance Mackey, Cim Smyth and Jim Lanier have scratched from the 2016 Iditarod.

Four-time champion Lance Mackey scratched from the race in the Galena checkpoint. According to a press release from the Iditarod Trail Committee, Mackey said he had personal health concerns in his decision to leave the race. The cancer survivor has struggled with several health problems in recent races.

In 14 races, this is his second scratch. This year, he had to backtrack to the Ophir checkpoint after his dogs were sick and ill-fitting harnesses rubbed dogs’ coats and skin.

Lanier, according to the press release, had suffered a fractured shoulder. The veteran from Chugiak left the race at the Kaltag checkpoint Monday morning. He had 12 dogs in his team.

Veteran Cim Smyth, of Big Lake, made the call to scratch at the Kaltag checkpoint at 9:30 Sunday night. He cited the best interest of his dogs is his decision. He had six dogs at the time. As of Monday afternoon, ten mushers have scratched from the 2016 Iditarod.

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