ANCHORAGE AK (KTUU) Four-time Iditarod winner Lance Mackey has confirmed that he will not run next year’s Iditarod.
Laughing on the phone, Mackey said he “wants to give the Seaveys the chance to win one more until I come back.”
Instead of running the Last Great Race, Mackey plans to pack up his dog truck and leave from ‘Comeback Kennels’ in Fairbanks on November 10.
Mackey plans to run some races in the Lower 48 including the Wyoming Stage Stop, the UP 200 and maybe Race to the sky in Montana or Beargrease in Minnesota.
Mackey cited health concerns as the reason why he pulled out of this year’s Iditarod but he said that he is “getting back to somewhat good health.”
“I don’t know if I’ll get much better but I don’t think I’ll get much worse and that’s huge,” said Mackey.
On his upcoming trip, Mackey also plans to promote dog mushing in school presentations and seminars across the country.
Mackey said he was prompted to promote the sport after a documentary called ‘Sled Dogs’ by Fern Levitt was released last year.
When asked whether Mackey would be back to race Iditarod, he said he would probably be the first in line to sign up for Iditarod 2019.
It would be “the ultimate comeback of comeback kennel,” said Mackey.