The competition was one of the closest in recent memory, with defending champion Lance Mackey and four-time winner Jeff King mushing neck-and-neck for much of the race. Ultimately, the race was won by Mackey, who reached the final checkpoint at 2:46 AM on March 12. Notably, this is the second year in a row Mackey has finished first in both the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest, a feat once thought impossible.
Three dogs perished in Iditarod 36. The first was a 7-year-old male on the team of John Stetson, from Duluth, Minnesota. This dog died of pneumonia. The second dog, 3-year-old Lorne was a member of Jennifer Freking's team. Lorne was killed when a snowmobiler crashed into Freking's team. The third death was 4-year-old Cargo, a member of Ed Iten's team, in which the cause of death is unknown.
- "6 Canadians join the pack as the Iditarod gets underway". CBC News. 2 March 2008. Retrieved 2 March 2008.
- "Lance Mackey wins his second Iditarod". 12 March 2008. Archived from the original on 13 March 2008. Retrieved 12 March 2008.
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