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/ 2007 Iditarod News and Articles / MACKEY IS THE FIRST TO REACH IDITAROD

MACKEY IS THE FIRST TO REACH IDITAROD

by staff

IDITAROD XXXV Musher Lance Mackey (Bib # 13) is the first to arrive in the Ghost town of Iditarod, on the banks of Iditarod Creek.  Mackey reached the once gold rich creek at 12:11 this morning (Thursday) with 15 dogs.  The Iditarod Checkpoint is about 564 miles into the IDITAROD Race Trail, which signifies the halfway point in this "Last Great Race to Nome." 

Mackey's phenomenal pace through the first half of the race netted him the GCI Dorothy Page Halfway Award as well as $3,000 in placer gold nuggets, courtesy of race sponsor GCI. GCI's Corporate Relations representative Kathy Manka was on hand to present the award to Mackey.

Mackey described his trek from Ophir to Iditarod as "grueling".  He said that 90 miles of the trail was a combination of tussocks and three foot moguls. The 36 year old Kasilof Alaska musher is just coming off his third consecutive Yukon Quest victory.  It's no secret that Mackey wants, more than anything, to win IDITAROD XXXV.  He purposely selected bib #13 because that is the number that both his father (Dick) and his brother (Rick) wore when they won their Iditarod races in 1978 and 1983 respectively.

The Ghost town of Iditarod was once a bustling community of more than 10,000.  Between 1908 and 1925 dog teams helped build this gold rush community by hauling supplies, mail, and an estimated $35 million in gold from the mining district. At the time gold was valued at only $20 an ounce.

The GCI Dorothy Page Halfway Award will be re-presented to Mackey in Nome on Sunday, March 18th, during the Iditarod Awards Banquet at the Nome Recreation Center.

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