About Lance...Born and raised in Alaska, Lance Mackey has grown up around dog mushing and tough times. His father, Dick Mackey, was one of the founders of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race ,which was officially organized in 1973.
The Iditarod is a 1,200 mile sled dog race across Alaska's wilderness. Lance's father, Dick went on to win the 1978 Iditarod race by ONE second. Alaskans still talk about that great race. In 1983, Lance's oldest brother, Rick , was the winner of the Iditarod. For Lance, this was his legacy, as a son, as a brother and as an up and coming dog musher. Lance wanted to win the Iditarod also. This dream almost ended when he was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2001 and underwent extensive surgery as well as radiation treatment.
Determined to move forward. Lance started the 2002 Iditarod with a feeding tube still in place in his stomach but had to drop out of the race halfway into it. Lance took 2003 off to regroup. For the next several years he continued to run dogs and dream of winning the Iditarod. In 2005 he entered the Yukon Quest, another challenging 1,000 mile sled dog race, winning it in his rookie year. Repeating that in 2006, 2007 & 2008 making him the only 4 time Yukon Quest Champion in history. In 2007, he returned to the Iditarod also.
Again he beat the odds and did what was previously thought to be impossible, he won both the Yukon Quest and Iditarod in the same year and within two weeks of each other. He repeated that feat in 2008. In 2009 he won the Iditarod again, defeating intense competition and severe weather. Perhaps his greatest personal accomplishment is that he has been honored on both the Quest and the Iditarod for taking the best care of his dogs, who he considers to be the true champions.
Lance demonstrates the true spirit of what Alaskans are. His incredible back to back Quest and Iditarod championships show his grit, determination, and his appetite for "tough". He has been nominated twice for national ESPY awards.
Lance will say "tell me it can't be done,... I'll give it everything I’ve got to prove that it can. Can't is a word that I do not want to understand. I always try to do my very best, I may not always finish number one, but it will always be the best I can do".
Lance has worked very hard to be where he is today and sacrificed beyond most peoples' comprehension. Lance is a father, a cancer survivor, a Champion dog driver, and a down to earth, regular guy. He has served as an inspiration for countless numbers of people.
It is attitude and appetite that make him who he is. He constantly reminds us that “Dreams can and do come true”.