We Have the Champion!

Lisa Smith-Putnam on Pet Life Radio

You thought you knew everything about the Alaskan Iditarod?  Well, maybe you do!  But join us as we feature the 2012 Champ, Dallas Seavey, as we learn not only about him and his dogs, but life out on the trail as well!

THE CHAMP/ DALLAS SEAVEY -On Tuesday, March 13, 2012 Musher Dallas Seavey in  Nome, Alaska (Bib # 34) in Nome, Alaska and crossed under the burled arch at 19:29 Alaska Time with 9 dogs on his team claiming his first Iditarod Championship of the  IDITAROD XL. Thousands of fans lined the street to greet the youngest person to have ever won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Seavey now holds the record for being the youngest person to have won the Iditarod.  Seavey turned 25 years old while on the trail.  The previous record was held by Rick Swenson since 1977, when he won his first Iditarod at the age of 26.
Seavey’ s team traveled up the Iditarod Trail in 9 days, 04 hours, 29 minutes, 26 seconds.  The record is still held by John Baker the 2011 Champion at a time of 8 days, 18 hours, 46 minutes, 39 seconds.

Dallas comes from a family with a long line of Iditarod finishers, including his father, Mitch, who won in 2004. Dallas was a third generation Seavey to be running in the 2012 Iditarod along with his father Mitch Seavey and grandfather, Dan Seavey.

THE RACE/THE IDITAROD -Alaska is the world Mecca for sled dog racing, which has developed into a popular winter sport in the Lower 48, Canada, Europe, and even Russia. Mushers from more than a dozen foreign countries have run the Iditarod, and Alaskan mushers routinely travel outside to races such as the John Beargrease in Minnesota, the Big Sky in Montana, the UP 200 in Michigan, and the Alpirod in Europe. A number of Alaskan mushers have even run races in the Russian Far East. The Winter Olympics are considering adding sled dog racing as an event and several sled dog races were held in Norway in conjunction with the 1994 games.

While the Iditarod has become by far Alaska’s best-known sporting event, there are a dozen other major races around the state every winter, such as the grueling thousand-mile Yukon Quest, the Kobuk 440, the Kusko 300, the Klondike 300, and the Copper Basin 300. In a revival of age-old tradition, some entire villages and towns in rural Alaska become swept away in the frenzy of sled dog racing, and sled dog are now common in many rural areas where they were eclipsed by “iron dogs” only a few decades ago.

From Kaltag, the home stretch is the same every year: Unalakleet, Shaktoolik, Koyuk, Elim, Golovin, White Mountain, Safety Roadhouse, and Nome. True to their predecessors, the mushers still run down Front Street past the still notorious saloons into the heart of the Last Frontier’s last frontier town to the burled arch. Every musher’s arrival is heralded by the city’s fire siren and every musher is greeted by a crowd lining the “chute”, no matter the time of day or night, or if he or she is first or fifty-first across the line.

Dallas Seavey on Pet Life Radio