Mackey wins Dawson gold second year in a row

DAWSON CITY Lance Mackey’s “babies” were still screaming to go when he slid into Dawson Tuesday night.


Lance Mackey’s “babies” were still screaming to go when he slid into Dawson Tuesday night.

“They sure look nice,” said the reigning Quest champ as he walked up the string of lunging sled dogs.

Mackey, arrived at 11:35 p.m., beating William Kleedehn by four hours.

The effort earned Mackey four ounces of gold, provided he crosses the finish line in Fairbanks.

 “They way they look, that shouldn’t be a problem,” he said, looking at his team.

Mackey is tricky.

Kleedehn knew this in Braeburn.

“He has all kinds of things up his sleeve,” said the Carcross musher.

“And he’s in no rush at all.”

Kleedehn left the Scroggie Creek dog drop first, followed by Gerry Willomitzer, Lance Mackey and Hugh Neff.

The four frontrunners all pulled out within eight minutes of each other. Mackey passed Willomitzer within the first 15 kilometres, and was “gone.” But he trailed Kleedehn for five hours.

“He finally pulled off, as he should have,” said Mackey.

Most mushers split the 159-kilometre run from Scroggie to Dawson in two, resting at least four hours at the Indian River Bridge, which is about 80 kilometres from town.

But Mackey did the whole haul, only stopping for an hour.

“That was a record run,” he said.

And he plans to keep it up.

“I’m just running the way the dogs look able,” he said, smiling.

Last year, to win the race, Mackey pulled off the same long run into Dawson, but added a detour.

He took a wrong turn on top of King Solomon’s Dome and went about 40 kilometres out of his way.

This year, without that detour, Mackey cut roughly three and a half hours off his time, finishing the run in 14 hours and 20 minutes.

To speed things up, Mackey switched some dogs around.

“I put dogs up front that look like they want to go fast,” he said.

“And I tried out some new, young recruits.”

But to get off Dawson’s main street, he put his champion leader Larry back up front.

“I need my steering wheel,” he said.

His wife Tonga was waiting with his lead dogs, teary-eyed.

She was worried his dogs would have trouble getting into the camp, after learning she couldn’t bait the team with her dog truck.

The dogs were rerouted because of glare ice on the river, one of the officials explained as Mackey prepared to pull out.

“I need to take care of these babies real quick,” said Mackey, as he “hawed” Larry toward the river.

“They deserve a nice long break.”

Mackey needs a break too, although his spirits were high.

“I’m going to sleep and eat as much as possible,” he said.

Kleedehn got into Dawson at 3:33 a.m. Wednesday, followed by Hugh Neff at 4:40 a.m., Willomitzer at 5:25 a.m., Hans Gatt at 6:15 a.m. and Sebastian Schnuelle at 7:23 a.m. Michelle Phillips got in around 9:40 a.m.

Just Posted

No vacancy: Whitehorse family spends five months seeking housing

‘I didn’t think it would be this hard’

Bedbug situation in Whitehorse building becoming intolerable, resident says

Gabriel Smarch said he’s been dealing with bedbugs since he moved into his apartment 15 years ago

Yukon government transfers responsibility for Native Language Centre to CYFN

‘At the end of the day the importance is that First Nations have control of the language’

New operator applies for licence at shuttered Whitehorse daycare

Application has listed a proposed program start date of Feb. 1.

The week in Yukon mining

Goldcorp re-submits Coffee plans, Mount Nansen sale looms, Kudz Ze Kayah comments open

Ice, ice, baby: scaling a frozen Yukon waterfall

‘There’s a really transformative affect with adventure’

Says Marwell is problematic, requests council further hash it out

You can buy alcohol and tobacco on Main Street in Whitehorse —… Continue reading

Yukon history is picture post card perfect

The most interesting gift I received at Christmas this year was the… Continue reading

Contentious Whitehorse quarry proposal raises city hackles

‘We’ve had concerns from the get-go on this one’

Whitehorse time machine

Yukon’s capital added 10,000 people over the last three decades, no YESAB application needed

How to make sure your car starts in the cold

It’s about more than just making sure your plug works

Whitehorse fuel delivery company fined $1,100 for Rancheria crash

The Crown stayed two other charges against the company related to the Aug. 7, 2017, crash

Most Read