Mackey gets historic Iditarod victory

March 14, 2007 at 1:26 PM

NOME, Alaska, March 14 (UPI) -- Musher Lance Mackey has won his first Iditarod victory in Nome, Alaska, with a curious numerological twist to his family's sled dog racing history.

Mackey was greeted by a throng of cheering fans Tuesday night after he and his dogs spent 9 days, 5 hours, 8 minutes and 41 seconds covering the 1,100 miles from the starting line in Anchorage.

Mackey beat second-place finisher Paul Gebhardt by 2 hours, 19 minutes, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

The numerology factor was curious in that the 36-year-old won in his sixth Iditarod attempt wearing so-called unlucky No. 13. His father and brother have also each won the race, both wearing No. 13, and each time on their sixth attempts, the News said. Mackey also became the first musher to win both the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race and the Iditarod back to back, largely with the same dogs, the report said.

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