Lance Mackey is pretty much a legend around here. In 2007, he became the first person to win both the Yukon Quest and Iditarod in the same year. His father Dick is one of the founders of the Iditarod. Two amazing medical facts about him are that he was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2001, and is now cured but lost most of his salivary glands so he has to constantly drink water on the trail. He also suffered nerve damage in one of his fingers and had it removed before a race. He was considered done with his mushing career after his illnesses but in 2005 came from behind to win the Yukon Quest.
The funny thing is, that was the year I handled on the Quest for Dave Dalton, and since Dave came in 4th, I was constantly traveling and waiting at checkpoints with the front runners and go to know his wife Tonya and handlers. We sort of bonded over being rookie handlers for the Quest, which is a daunting task (driving 1,000 miles from AK to the Yukon and back). They were driving an old truck that was literally breaking down on the road, and his handler had a down jacket held together by duct tape. Since then, Lance is a four time Iditarod winner and three time Quest winner. No wonder his kennel is called the "Comeback Kennels."
And as you can see, he has quite the product placement on his dogs, their coats looks like dog food bags, I'm sure that was a lucrative deal! Good for him! Here's Lance, his dogs, his nice new truck, his legendary dad and a few pics I took in '05 at the Quest banquet after the race, when his lead dogs were given steak on a silver platter by a waiter in fancy chef's hat to acknowledge their greatness!