Alaska News

Iditarod notebook: Old Iditarod Gang book unveiling; Mackey film gets second showing

The Old Iditarod Gang is getting back together.

Members of an informal group that stayed in touch since the early days of the race to Nome are hosting a book signing and get together, celebrating their book "Iditarod -- The First Ten Years."

The anthology documents the struggle to keep the race going during its early years will be available for purchase in both regular and leather-bound, limited-edition versions.

The full-color, 424-page book, selling for $59.95, includes more than 100 first-person accounts of the early days of the race. Iditarod artist Jon Van Zyle submitted artwork, including original drawings, and well-known Iditarod photographers Frank Flavin, Rob Stapleton and Jeff Schultz all contributed photographs -- some of which had never been published.

The book unveiling and signing is set for Friday, March 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Millennium Hotel in Anchorage. In addition to the members of the Old Iditarod Gang, many of the authors who contributed to the book and mushers mentioned in it will be there to sign books. Books will also be available for purchase during March 5 Iditarod banquet, the Fairbanks race restart and Nome finish.

For a more modern take of the race, the Lance Mackey documentary "The Great Alone" is getting a second showing at the Bear Tooth Theatrepub after the original 8 p.m. showing sold out. The second showing is set for 10:15 p.m. March 4, following the first premiere.

Filmmaker Greg Kohs' independently produced documentary follows Mackey along the 2013 trail, where he went on to place 19th. It also traces back to his early life, with family interviews, including dad and 1978 Iditarod champion Dick Mackey, along with his hard-scrabble rise over the years to becoming a legendary dog musher and the only racer to win the Yukon Quest and Iditarod back to back.

Suzanna Caldwell

Suzanna Caldwell is a former reporter for Alaska Dispatch News and Alaska Dispatch. She left the ADN in 2017.