Yesterday went by with a flash. I made it to Nome. My flight into Nome was filled with friends and family of all the mushers, kind of like a reunion. Lance Mackey’s brother, sister, mother and nephew were there. Ray Reddington’s, Jessie Royer’s, Hugh Neff’s, Zack Steer’s and so many other mushers’ families were on there as well.
So what is happening? Lance Mackey arrived in Nome in at 8:08pm to become the new Iditarod champion. What an amazing story! He is the first person to ever win the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest in the same year, and he did it wearing the same number his father and his brother won the race in and with the same number of dogs as they had.
I have seen the Champion come across the finish line 6 out of the last seven years. I have never seen someone as exuberant and just so happy to have won. It was a real changing of the guard. The rest of the top three are Paul Gebhardt in second and Zack Steer passed Buser on the stretch to Nome to come in third. A lot of people didn’t even know Zack’s name before this race.