Last night at 7:29pm five-time Iditarod competitor Dallas Seavey passed under the burled arch, becoming the winner of the 2012 Iditarod:
As early as the halfway mark of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, 25-year-old Dallas Seavey revealed the plan that would crown him the youngest champion in race history. The blueprint: Throttle his team’s speed early, resist the temptation to surge ahead, spring the trap.
Or, as Seavey likes to say, he was creating a monster.
“We built the winning team during the race,” Seavey said, crediting the win on the mid-race restraint he showed even as others leaped ahead. “As soon as (other) teams really started coming together, they took off and started racing and tore it all apart.”
Seavey’s dad and grandfather didn’t get to see their son and grandson, respectively, cross the finish line. They were behind him on the trail, finishing their own Iditarod races. Seavey is a third generation Iditarod competitor.
Other than his youth (at 25 Dallas Seavey is the youngest ever winner) there are any number of other interest aspects to his victory. Seavey doesn’t have his own kennel—unlike most of the top competitors his team was drawn from a number of established kennels with proven records.
Since Susan Butcher’s victories more than 20 years ago, the primary focus of the race has been the dogs, breeding dogs with better capabilities, better sled racing dogs. Today’s mushers are in much better condition than those of a generation ago. Several are triathletes. Dallas Seavey ran a good portion of the thousand mile race. Increasingly, I think we can expect the Iditarod not only to be about breeding and training better dogs but about training better mushers.