Mackey running second in Quest
Kasilof’s Lance Mackey is running in second place in the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog race in his attempt to defend his title.
Mackey pulled out of Eagle at 2:35 p.m., about two hours and 20 minutes behind leader Hans Gatt, also a former Quest champion. Gatt is the only musher with all 14 dogs left. Mackey had to drop two dogs.
William Kleedehn left Eagle just 30 minutes after Mackey.
Eagle, which is 598 miles from the finish in Whitehorse, is the last checkpoint before Dawson City, which is 451 miles from the finish. Mushers will be required to take a 36-hour layover in Dawson City.
When Mackey arrived in Eagle, according to a press release written by the race, he said of Gatt, “It’s like chasing a ghost, I know he’s out there, I just can’t see him.”
Gatt reported lots of water on the Yukon River, but temperatures are currently dropping on the trail, meaning riders can expect a cooler ride into Dawson City.
Davis, Palin still lead Iron Dog
Scott Davis of Soldotna and Todd Palin of Wasilla, riding Arctic Cats, were still in the lead of the 2006 Tesoro Iron Dog snowmachine race late Wednesday night.
Davis, a six-time champion, and Palin, a three-time champion, were still in Nome taking their layover. Nome is 1,108 miles away from the starting line in Wasilla. Davis and Palin must ride 863 miles to the finish line in Fairbanks.
As of Wednesday night, 10 of the 22 teams in the pro class had scratched, including defending champions Mark McKenna of Anchorage and Nick Olstad of Wasilla.
The three other teams with peninsula connections also have scratched.
Kenai’s Mark Carr, a four-time champion, and Lane Giesler did not make it to the starting line. Dick Jimmer of Seward and Jack Klayum of Wasilla also scratched. Finally, three-time champion Dusty VanMeter of Soldotna and Korey Cronquist of Wasilla scratched Wednesday.
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