Veteran Iditarod musher Dallas Seavey of Talkeetna crossed the finish line of the Iditarod Gold Trail Loop in Deshka Landing at 5:08 a.m. today, claiming his fifth Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race championship. Seavey is now tied with mushing legend Rick Swenson with five total championships.
“I’ve always said, ‘I’m going to get the next one. And someday five might be the next one,’ and that’s today,” Seavey said. “We got it, and that’s huge, man.”– Dallas Seavey, speaking with Alaska Public Media
Seavey had 10 dogs in harness when he glided across the finish line to win the Iditarod 49 title in 7 days, 14 hours, 8 minutes and 57 seconds. Of course, Seavey could not have traversed the nearly 850 miles without his 14-dog race team, consisting of Prophet, Gamble, Canton, Pecos, Swifter, Cobra, West, Viacon, North, Mustang, Yak, Rip, Frisbee and Ace.
This historic win is also a comeback for Seavey, who is coming off a four-year hiatus from the Iditarod after Seavey’s dog team tested for high levels of Tramadol after the 2017 race ended. Though cleared from any wrongdoing by Iditarod leadership in late 2018, this year’s race was his first time back on the Iditarod trail, but not from competitive dog mushing altogether. He placed third in Finland’s Finnmarksløpet sled dog race, in 2018.
Nome-born-and-raised Aaron Burmeister mushed neck-and-neck with Seavey during the incoming leg of this year’s Gold Trail Loop. But the 61-minute advantage Seavey held at Skwentna, the last major checkpoint, proved too much for Burmeister to make up. Aaron Burmeister finished in second place at 8:23 AM; Brent Sass in third place at 9:41. In fourth position Wade Marrs arrived at 12:53 PM and Mille Porsild in fifth at 1:12 PM.
In his years racing the Iditarod, Dallas Seavey has proven himself as one of the top competitors to beat. Coming from a long line of mushers, his grandfather ran the very first Iditarod; his father, Mitch Seavey, is a three-time Iditarod champion.
Dallas Seavey became the youngest musher in history to run the Iditarod at 18 years old in 2005. He won the Yukon Quest in 2011 and became the youngest Iditarod champion in history in 2012. With this year’s win, Seavey has 10 finishes in the top 10.
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Image at top: Dallas Seavey posses for photos with his lead dogs at the 2021 Iditarod finish-line. Photo by Dave Poyzer/Iditarod, used with permission.