The four-time Iditarod and Yukon Quest winner, who has survived a string of tragedies, said cancer has returned to his throat.
Forty-eight mushers entered the race Saturday, the first day of signups for the 50th annivesary race.
Mackey and his car somersaulted through the air before the car landed on its side at the Wenatchee Valley Super Oval track in Washington.
Jeff King feared freezing to death. Philip Hanke was out of food and bogged down in snow. Both pressed the SOS button in the season-ending sled dog race.
Kobuk 440 trailbreaker Robin Gage captured the scene where mushers Jeff King and Gunnar hunkered down in a storm near Shungnak on April 5, 2021.
Extreme weather in Northwest Alaska forced mid-race course changes and search-and-rescue missions.
Bethel musher Victoria Hardwick won her second Red Lantern Award as the race’s final finisher to mark the end of the 49th annual race.
Mushers and race officials managed several animal encounters as the race returned to Willow.
As of noon Wednesday, only six teams remained on the trail.
The 10-year-old female lead dog has finished all but two of the ultra-distance races she has started with Cantwell mushers Cody Strathe and Paige Drobny.
Her husband, fellow long-distance musher Allen Moore, said her injury doesn’t affect their plans to retire from competitive mushing.
The top 10 was filled with Iditarod veterans, who have a combined 98 finishes. Second-place Aaron Burmeister has finished 20 Iditarods; 10th-place Ramey Smyth has finished 24.
Seavey and race organizers were at war for more than a year after organizers accused him of doping his dogs in the 2017 race.
Seavey matched the record Rick Swenson established 30 years ago. Aaron Burmeister arrived in second place more than 3 hours after Seavey.
On their return trip on the out-and-back course, Ryan Redington struggled up the Happy River Steps and Joar Leifseth Ulsom crossed the Farewell Burn in sunshine and loved it.
Here’s a collection of memorable images from a unique race.
The four-time champion left the final checkpoint before the finish line at 8:44 p.m. Sunday. A win would match Rick Swenson’s record five championships.
This year’s competitors have few opportunities to thaw and dry out, and veteran musher Martin Buser was facing his own challenge: unresponsive fingers that turned white and swelled.
The front-runners are closing in on the Deshka Landing finish line.
“That was the worst-case scenario, that it could happen to a musher,” 2018 champion Joar Leifseth Ulsom said. “We’re all at risk for it, so it can happen to any of us.”