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Dallas Seavey: “Eye on the Big Goal”

To call Dallas Seavey confident may be an understatement.

“I appear to be the fastest team in the very front part of the race right now,” the 25-year-old musher from Willow, Alaska told KNOM’s Laureli Kinneen on Sunday. “Everything’s going really well.”

Seavey’s split times paint a similar picture. Although Dallas Seavey was 51 minutes behind Aliy Zirkle pulling into Unalakleet, he made the Kaltag-Unalakleet run almost 2 hours faster: in 11 hours 42 minutes versus Zirkle’s 13:33. And while Aliy Zirkle had reported a “grinding” run from Kaltag, pulling into Unalakleet in need of rest, Dallas Seavey’s dogs were looking good.

Asked about his recent rise in the standings, Seavey cited the “big pushes” and shorter rest times of his competitors, saying that more ambitious styles of mushing can exact a “price” later in the race. Seavey said his “focus” has not been on “racing the team but building a team”; he told Laureli that he’s tried to keep his “eye on the big goal.”

Although hesitant to make solid predictions, he offered a “short version” of his run/rest strategy for the remainder of the race: “I end up in Nome first.”

Hear Dallas Seavey in Unalakleet:

Dallas Seavey was second out of the Unalakleet checkpoint; he departed with 11 dogs at 12:41pm Sunday afternoon.