Dallas Seavey wins third Iditarod sled dog race in 4 years

  • By Mark Thiessen
  • Wednesday, March 18, 2015 11:23am
  • News

NOME, Alaska — Dallas Seavey has won his third Iditarod in the past four years, beating his father and more than 60 other mushers to the Bering Sea coastal town of Nome early Wednesday after racing 1,000 miles across Alaska.

Seavey came in under the city’s famed wooden-arch finish line to wild applause from fans lining the street, some who poured out of the bars that stayed open into the wee hours.

An exhausted Seavey, who also won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 2012 and 2014, petted and hugged his dogs after their victory.

“It takes a whole team to get any of us here,” he told reporters at a finish line ceremony, which was broadcast and live-streamed. Later, he hoisted two of his dogs onto his lap and officials draped the animals with garlands of yellow flowers.

“As long as you take care of the dog team (and) make good decisions, good things will happen. Wins are a result of doing what we love,” Seavey said, adding he tried to keep the race fun.

He said he and his father, Mitch Seavey, who won titles in 2013 and 2004, encouraged each other along the way.

The elder Seavey was en route to Nome in second place later Wednesday morning, about four hours behind his son. Nome hometown musher Aaron Burmeister was in the third place, Jessie Royer was fourth, and Aliy Zirkle was in fifth place.

Dallas Seavey increasingly put distance between himself and the rest of the field during the latter part of the race. He held a 25-mile advantage early Tuesday — a far cry from how he won the race last year. Dallas Seavey was running third in the 2014 Iditarod when a freak snowstorm blew the leaders out of the race, and the younger Seavey didn’t know he had won the race until a cameraman broke the news to him.

On Wednesday, Dallas Seavey was presented with $70,000 and the keys to a new pickup truck. The winner’s purse increased this year, and the top prize was $19,600 more than what he pocketed last year.

“I’m pretty tired right about now — it’s been a tough race,” he said. “The cold zaps you. The dogs, they’re very lively, but it takes a lot of effort to keep them well-fed, keep them rocking and rolling. This is a hard dog team to keep up with.”

Royer and Zirkle each attempted to be the first woman to win the race since the late Susan Butcher won her fourth title in 1990.

Poor weather south of the Alaska Range this year forced the official start to Fairbanks, on the northern side of the mountains. Not much snow fell south of the range, and officials said the conditions in the normally treacherous Dalzell Gorge were made even more dangerous by a lack of snow. That’s the location where many mushers crashed their sleds in 2014, causing many to scratch.

A new race route was created, with much of it run on river ice. It allowed new communities to serve as checkpoints, including the Athabascan community of Huslia, famed for its sprint sled dog races.

The ceremonial start in Anchorage went on as planned on March 7. Snow had to be trucked in so mushers could navigate paved streets, but there was little snow elsewhere in the city. The snow brought in for the race barely lasted the few hours it was needed because of temperatures nearing 40 degrees and rain.

A total of 78 mushers began the race March 9 in Fairbanks. Eight scratched, and one was disqualified. Two dogs have died in this year’s race, including one that was hit by a car after getting loose during the ceremonial start. The other dog that died was on the team of four-time champion Lance Mackey.

 

More in News

This screen capture from surveillance footage released by the Anchorage Police Department shows a masked man vandalizing the Alaska Jewish Museum in Anchorage in May. (Courtesy photo / APD)
Museums statewide condemn antisemitic vandalism

Two incidents, one in May, one in September, have marred the museum this year.

Three speech language pathologists with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District were recognized for excellence during the Alaska Speech-Language-Hearing Association last month. (Kenai Peninsula Borough School District)
Peninsula speech language therapists awarded for excellence

“I was very honored to be recognized by my peers and colleagues,” Evans said in an interview with the Clarion.

(Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire file)
Dial 10 for local calls

People placing calls will need to dial all 10 digits in order for the call to go through.

(Image courtesy CDC)
Soldotna man among newly reported COVID deaths

The state also announced 830 positive COVID cases Wednesday.

A spruce tree showing heavy damage from spruce bark beetles stands on Saturday, April 28, 2018 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ben Boetttger/Peninsula Clarion file)
Prescribed burning scheduled for Moose Pass, Cooper Landing

The burning is intended to mitigate the spread of spruce bark beetles.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski attends a joint Soldotna and Kenai Chamber of Commerce Luncheon on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Peninsula projects included in Murkowski appropriations requests

The funding requests run the gamut from funding for the Alaska SeaLife Center to expanding projects at the Central Peninsula Landfill.

Spruce trees are photographed in Seldovia, Alaska, on Sept. 26, 2021. (Clarion file)
Arbor Day grant application period opens

The program provides chosen applicants with up to $400 to buy and ship trees to their schools.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Ark., leave the chamber after a vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, early Wednesday, May 10, 2017. A magistrate ruled Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, that there is probable cause for a case to continue against a man accused of threatening to kill Alaska’s two U.S. senators in profanity-filled voicemails left on their office phones. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
Grand jury will get case of man threatening to kill senators

He is accused of making threats against U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan.

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. (CDC)
Virus death toll soars

The state reported 66 more COVID deaths Tuesday, some recent and some as far back as April.

Most Read