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Museum exhibits Mackey's Yukon Quest, Iditarod trophies

Submitted by Kerynn Fisher
Phone: (907) 474-6941


FAIRBANKS, Alaska - This spring, Fairbanks dog musher Lance Mackey did what many thought was impossible - he won both the Yukon Quest and Iditarod sled dog races in the same year. This summer, visitors to the University of Alaska Museum of the North will get to see Mackey's trophies from the two long-distance sled dog races, along with Mackey's No. 13 Iditarod bib. The exhibit will be on display through Sept. 15, 2007.

"Dog mushing is such a big part of life in Alaska. We're thrilled to be able to share Lance's historic victories with our summer visitors," says museum director Aldona Jonaitis.

The exhibit complements the museum's new auditorium show, Winter. The 50-minute multimedia presentation gives visitors insight into Interior Alaska's winters, including adaptations to life in the cold and activities like dog mushing. The program features segments of an interview with Mackey talking about being out in the Alaska wilderness with 16 of his best friends.

The Yukon Quest trophy features a moose mandible etched with an ink sketch of a dog musher and team. Made of brass, bronze and wood, the Iditarod trophy features race co-founder Joe Redington, Sr. with a sled dog under Nome's famed burl arch.

Born in Alaska in 1970, Mackey comes from a family of champion dog mushers. His father, Dick, won the Iditarod in 1978 and his brother, Rick, won in 1983. A cancer survivor and lifelong musher, Mackey won the Yukon Quest three years in a row - 2005, 2006 and this year. Three weeks after winning the 2007 Yukon Quest in record time, and running many of the same dogs, Mackey realized his lifelong dream of winning the Iditarod. Like his father and brother before him, Mackey won his first Iditarod on his sixth attempt and wearing bib No. 13. Earlier this week, Mackey was nominated for an ESPY award in the "outdoor athlete" category.

Museum general admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $5 for youth 7-17 and free for children 6 and under. Museum members and UAF students, with valid ID, also receive free admission. The museum is open daily during the summer from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Information on the museum is available at (907) 474-7505 and online at www.uaf.edu/museum.

CONTACT: Julie Estey, development director, University of Alaska Museum of the North, at (907) 474-6443.