Thursday, July 31, 2008

Meet Lance!

Lance Mackey, 4-time Yukon Quest Champion, 2-time Iditarod Champion, only musher to win both races in the same year, now in back-to-back years, will meet the public at the Tanana Valley State Fair in Fairbanks, August 2nd & 3rd, from 1:00 - 3:00pm, and at the Alaska State Fair, outside Palmer, on August 23rd & 24th, from 1:00 - 3:00pm.
It's a chance to chat with the champion musher, take photos and get his autograph.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


-- Premiering October 2008, IDITAROD (wt) Shows a Musher’s Preparation is No Match for Mother Nature --

SILVER SPRING, Md., July 10, 2008 – Discovery Channel continues its exploration into and chronicling of the fascinating world around us with the groundbreaking series IDITAROD (wt). The world premiere of this original series is slated for October 2008. This historic 1,150 mile sled dog race over some of the world’s most beautiful – and most challenging – terrain was documented from beginning to end through the eyes of the men and women who dared to take on the monumental challenge.

In this six-part series, viewers will get a rare look into one of the harshest races on the planet – The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Across frozen rivers, barren tundra, mountains and thick forest in freezing temperatures, this grueling race from Anchorage to Nome puts mushers and their dog teams through the ultimate test of human and animal teamwork and endurance.

"This new series truly defines adventure programming," said John Ford, president and general manager of Discovery Channel. "Viewers will once again travel back to Alaska, one of the toughest places on earth, where they will see the sheer will and determination it takes for men and women to compete in and complete this 1,150 mile race. The stories of these competitors deserve to be told and we are proud to do it."

Mushers from around the world convene in Alaska each March to run the "Last Great Race on Earth." Some prepare all year for this legendary race while others fit in training around their full-time jobs. Some are carrying on a proud family tradition while others are first generation mushers. Discovery Channel will follow returning race veterans and rookies alike to see, through their eyes, what it takes to compete not only against each other but also Mother Nature.

The Iditarod Trail was originally used as a mail and supply route from the coastal towns of Seward and Knik to the interior mining camps and eventually all he way to Nome. Mail and supplies went in and gold came out – all by dog sleds. Mushers became legends. In 1925, part of the trail became a life-saving highway. Mushers and their dog teams were called upon to bring serum to epidemic-stricken Nome and save the town from Diphtheria that had overtaken it. The Iditarod is a commemoration of those brave and legendary mushers and their faithful dogs.

IDITAROD (wt) is produced for Discovery Channel by Original Productions. Thom Beers and Phillip Segal are executive producers and Jeff Conroy is co-executive producer. For Discovery Channel, Paul Gasek is executive producer.

About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications is the world’s number-one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 170 countries. Discovery empowers people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity through 100-plus worldwide networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Planet Green, Investigation Discovery and HD Theater, as well as leading consumer and educational products and services, and a diversified portfolio of digital media services including Discovery Communications is owned by Discovery Holding Company (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB), Advance/Newhouse Communications and John S. Hendricks, Discovery's founder and chairman. For more information, please visit

No ESPY for Mackey, but maybe a movie?

ACTION! Warner Brothers, Disney are both interested, musher says.

FAIRBANKS -- Usually, the number two is good to champion musher Lance Mackey.

Twice he has won the two biggest races in mushing -- back-to-back -- the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

And Mackey hoped that voters might grant him an ESPY award this year, the second time he's been nominated for the honor.

"It would look great on the trophy shelf, but I'm not counting on it," Mackey said from Las Vegas, where he was preparing to travel to Los Angeles for the ceremony broadcast Sunday on ESPN.

Mackey, who has won the Yukon Quest for the past four years and won both the Quest and the Iditarod in 2007 and 2008, is one of five nominees for the Best Outdoor Athlete award.

And while lucky numbers usually smile on Mackey, it didn't happen this time.

Scott Smiley, an Army captain who climbed Mount Rainier after losing his sight in Iraq, was the winner, chosen through online voting at

On his second trip to the ESPY awards, Mackey planned to take more time to relax and enjoy the trip, though he called it his "duty" to meet seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong.

Many people have compared the two Lances over the years. Both beat cancer and returned to their respective sports to become champions.

"I don't think there's much comparison," Mackey said. "He does all the work, while my team does most of the work in my sport."

Mackey also will meet what he described as a "well-known" director next week to discuss the possibility of making a movie about his accomplishments.

"Warner Brothers and Disney both are interested in some sort of movie," he said.

The Fairbanks musher has already begun training for next year's races, and he believes his team is capable of three-peating back-to-back Yukon Quest and Iditarod titles.

Still, he remained humble about his accomplishments.

"I just want to say thanks to the fans who follow the sport," Mackey said. "Without them I'd still be sitting in a small town in Alaska instead of being in L.A. with the big dogs."

Last year, Mackey lost out to Dean Karnazes of San Francisco, who ran 50 marathons -- one in every state -- in 50 days, including the Mayor's Marathon course in Anchorage.

Update on Zorro

Most of you know that Lance Mackey's dog "Zorro" was injured during the 2008 All Alaska Sweepstakes when a snow machine collided with his team. Zorro was riding in the sled bag when he got hit. He suffered 3 broken ribs, had some internal bleeding, and spinal injuries.

As of the last report from Lance's Comeback Kennel website:
Early Father's Day for Zorro!!!
June 4th 2008
Zorro has had enough of the foo-foo treatment and has opted for returning to his old dog house deep within the 90 plus sled dogs in the Mackey dog lot.

The fur has grown back over the cracked ribs. There is only a hint of where the accident occurred in Zorro's hips, where he occasionally sits to rest them.

Zorro has something new to brag about as he returns to his team mates in the dog lot. The Mackey's announced that Zorro is the proud pappa of 9 healthy puppies.

Retirement is grand!

No ESPY for Lance

Champion musher Lance Mackey did not win an ESPY this year, for the second year in a row. Lance was nominated for "Best Outdoor Athlete of the Year". The winner was Army Captain Scott Smiley, blinded in Iraq, he climbed Mount Rainier in Washington state in July 2007.

Not to discredit Captain Smiley, but Lance's accomplishment deserved to win. It was as if Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France twice in the same year, two weeks apart, and then did that two years in a row! Talk about an "Iron Man" - the Incredible Lance Mackey!

Oh well, we'll keep mushing as an obscure sport.

It'll be our little secret!

2009 Iditarod

Sign up for the 2009 Iditarod took place on Saturday, June 29th, in Anchorage. (I was unable to attend)
65 mushers signed up, despite the fee increase to $4,000.
My favorite mushers, Martin Buser and Lance Mackey, were there.
Also 4-time champion Jeff King, 2002 champion and this years' All-Alaska Sweepstakes winner Mitch Seavey.
The races' only 5-time champion Rick Swenson.
Last year's rookie phenom Melissa Owens.
The 2008 rookie of the year Sigrid Ekran.
Blind musher Rachael Scdoris and her visual-guide Tim Osmar.
Aliy Zirkle and Allen Moore
Dee Dee Jonroe
Paul Gebhardt, John Baker and brothers Ray & Ryan Reddington and Cim & Ramey Smith.

The complete list of entrants is on the Iditarod Commitee website:


To my mushing blog!

I'll try to keep you updated on the happenings in the world of mushing, sleddogs, dog sled racing, etc.

It's the middle of summer, so there's not a lot of action right now. But I'll let you know as soon as I hear anything!