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Lance Mackey: The World's Toughest Athlete | Adventure Companion |

Lance Mackey The World s Toughest Athlete Adventure Companion OutsideOnline com

Lance Mackey The World s Toughest Athlete Adventure Companion OutsideOnline com

Jack London said that achieving greatness sometimes means burning white hot, even if there's a price to be paid once the flame goes out. Josh Dean went to Alaska to hang with Lance Mackey, the toughest competitor in Iditarod history. He came away with a new understanding of resilience, bravery, and the iron bond between a musher and his dogs. Source:

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Beaver isn't the kind of meat you can buy over the counter, but Mackey's mom has a good connection, a trapper down around Anchorage. Which is fortunate, since beaver, a pungent dark meat loaded with oil, is a musher's secret weapon. One of the great challenges of the sport is shoveling enough calories into your dogs, incredible endurance athletes that need to consume between 10,000 and 14,000 calories a day when they're running. Some stop eating for various reasons, and that's when you dish up the beaver. "Even a stubborn dog can't resist it," Mackey said.

As he sawed away, the 43-year-old Mackey certainly looked like a guy who'd spent thousands of hours standing upright on a sled pointed into blasts of Arctic wind. He is thin and resolute, like a chew toy made of jerky. He has a windburned face with ice blue eyes that are often bloodshot, half-moon creases on either side of his mouth, and a brown goatee that's surprisingly trim and tame. The right side of his face and neck are sunken, the result of numerous cancer surgeries that scooped out most of the tissue between skin and bone. Mackey usually wears a baseball cap—even when he's mushing, when he tucks it under a fur-trimmed hood—and he keeps his long, infrequently washed hair in a ponytail that stretches down to his spiky shoulder blades.

Wow, he's badass. 14,000 calories per dog per day?! How?!?!


How many beavers does it take to create 14,000 calories???