2020 Fur Rendezvous Open World Championships will feature one of mushing biggest names

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The starting order was drawn for the 2020 Fur Rendezvous Open World Championships in downtown Anchorage on Wednesday, with this year's race featuring a familiar Iditarod face.

(KTUU)

The Open World Championships, dating all the way back to 1946, is a 26-mile sprint race through the heart of Anchorage. Over three consecutive days, teams compete for the fastest time on the 26-mile trail. This year’s races begin on February 28, and go until March 1, with a minimum purse of $65,000.

This year’s OWC will also feature four-time Iditarod champion Lance Mackey. For the first time in Mackey's career, he will race in both the OWC and the Iditarod in the same season.

“Just the love of driving dogs and being a part of the history of our state sport,” Mackey said Wednesday, as he discussed his decision to race in the OWC. “It’s exciting, it’s an adrenaline rush, and it’s addicting.”

Mackey last raced in the OWC in 2014 with a group of husky puppies, but returns this year with hound dogs he jokingly refers to as "funny-looking huskies."

“It’s cool to be standing in the room with the top sprint mushers in the world," Mackey said.

The Fairbanks musher said he didn’t ask any of the sprint mushers for advice because he wanted to do it his way and knows that won’t come without mistakes. His main goal, he said, is to make sure his team is able to go straight down 4th Ave.

Along with Mackey, seven-time OWC champion Blayne “Buddy” Streeper is among this year’s field of mushers.

OWC Start Order
1. Brent Beck
2. Gary Markley
3. Armin Johnson
4. Kourosh Partow
5. Danny Beck
6. Don Cousins
7. Todd Whitcomb
8. Marvin Kokrine
9. Guy Girard
10. Greg Taylor
11. Blayne Streeper
12. Jeffery Conn
13. Michael Tetzner
14. Lance Mackey
15. Wendy Callis
16. Amy Dunlap
17. Ton Blanford (R)
18. Frank Haberman (R)
19. Alix Crittenden (R)
20. Thad McCracken (R)
21. Erick Laforce (R)
22. Bruce Magnusson (R)
23. Rejean Therrien (R)
24. Eli Campbell (R)
25. Mya Hartum (R)
26. Hans Gatt (R)

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