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Lance Mackey says he'll return for another Iditarod

The Iditarod announced Thursday that Jason Mackey has signed up for next year's sled-dog race, but the bigger – and unofficial – news is be that four-time champion and fan favorite Lance Mackey may also return.

In a pair of Facebook posts Thursday, Lance said he plans to enter the race across Alaska he once dominated.

"I made the decision to race Iditarod 2016," he wrote on his Facebook page.

"I'm going to nome again," he posted in the comment section of an Alaska Dispatch News story.

Mackey, 45, was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2001 and went on to win four straight Iditarod from 2007-10 and four straight Yukon Quests from 2005-08. He's the only musher to win both distance races in the same year, and he did it twice.

In recent years his health has deteriorated, and in the 2015 race from Anchorage to Nome he was accompanied by Jason, who helped his brother make it to the finish line despite two dead dogs and a number of health issues.

The pair finished 42nd and 43rd, with Jason leading the way. Lance's journey was so arduous that Jason predicted the race would be his brother's last Iditarod.

"He won't be racing it no more," Jason told the Dispatch News during the race. "It's time to turn the page."

Jason, 44, is the 76th musher to sign up for next March's race. His name has been added to the list of official entries, but as of Thursday night, Lance was not on the list. He couldn't be reached at his Fairbanks kennel Thursday evening.

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