Veteran mushers Jason Mackey and Rudy Demoski Sr. both scratched at the Unalakleet checkpoint this morning. Mackey scratched due to illness and Demoski scratched out of concern for his dogs. Demoski had dropped half his team by Unalakleet and was down to 8 dogs.
Jason Mackey, 41, of Wasilla, is the brother of four-time Iditarod champion Lance Mackey. This was his third Iditarod and his first scratch. His first Iditarod was in 2004.
Rudy Demoski Sr., 67, also of Wasilla, ran his first Iditarod in 1975. His last Iditarod before this one was in 1985.