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Lance Mackey completes 2011 Iditarod, finishing 16th

March 16, 2011 |  4:11 pm

Popular musher Lance Mackey pulled into Nome, Alaska, at 8:55 a.m. Wednesday, officially ending his 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race finishing in 16th place.

"The top 15 guys and some of the ones behind me have been trying to beat me for the last four years, and they all got their shot at once," Mackey told the Anchorage Daily News. "So now it's over with. I'll be back."

Upon arriving in Nome, he was met by cheers and well-wishers. "I didnt have to be first to still have a fan club. That was nice," Mackey said.

When asked if Wilson was his dog of the future, Mackey replied, "Oh, absolutely, look at him, he's so happy. He led every step, and a lot of it in single lead.

"As you've all seen they're fast enough to win this race and I've been on a training trip since Nikolai with plans for the next year or two."

His responses made it pretty clear that we'll see the Fairbanks musher back for the 2012 "last great race on Earth."

Mackey, 40, who won four consecutive Iditarod races from 2007 to 2010, was down to seven dogs in harness of the original 16-dog team he started with in Anchorage.

-- Kelly Burgess

Video credit: Kyle Hopkins / Anchorage Daily News