Dallas Seavey and his lead dogs Arrow and Sebastian after winning this year's Iditarod.

Dallas Seavey wins sixth Iditarod

Dallas Seavey is now in a league of his own, having notched the sixth Iditarod victory when he won the 2024 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race, arriving in Nome on Tuesday, March 12 at 5:16 p.m. after nine days, two hours, 16 minutes and eight seconds on the 1,000-mile trail.
A big crowd, including his grandfather Dan and parents Mitch and Janine Seavey, greeted the 37-year-old musher under the Burled Arch. The Nome-St.Lawrence Island dancers and drummers ushered the winner in with traditional songs and dances as Seavey ran alongside his team up the finish chute. With a bright sun shining down on Front Street in Nome, the crowd soaked up the celebratory atmosphere, chanting “Dallas, Dallas” and yelling for booties. While weather conditions were sunny and calm in Nome, the conditions on the trail were windy with gusts in excess of 30 miles per hour, according to a weather station at Johnson’s Camp near Topkok.
As soon as Seavey’s team made it onto Front Street he was escorted by Nome Police cruisers to the finish chute as people along the street crowded around the dog team. Arriving in the chute, he let go of the sled and ran alongside his 10-dog team as Nomeites along the chute cheered. After setting the snowhook, Seavey went to his dog team, rubbing each of his 10 dogs on the gangline and thanking his lead dogs Sebastian and Arrow. He took a dog named Simone out of the team and both went up and down the chute, shaking hands and acknowledging the fans who lined the finish chute.
Presented with a check for $55,600 for first place, his father Mitch remarked that this will cover about a third of Dallas’ veterinarian care expenses for this season.
This year’s race and the entire winter season has been riddled with obstacles for Seavey. Early in training, a snowmachine hit one of his kennel’s dog teams during a training run on the Denali Highway. Two dogs died and three were severely injured, requiring extensive vet care. Then, on another training run, Seavey and his father Mitch had a run-in with a porcupine, which left them pulling porcupine quills out of the injured dogs for several days. During the race, Dallas Seavey encountered a moose outside of Skwentna and had to kill it in defense as it went through his team, stomping and injuring one dog, Faloo. The dog is recovering now. The race organization levied a two-hour penalty on Seavey for doing a poor job gutting the moose. And just a few days ago, the news came that one dog in his second team, running with Isaac Teaford, had died.
When Iditarod Insider commentator Greg Heister asked Seavey at the finish line where the strength came from to deal with all the adversity thrown at him this year, Seavey said that he focuses on the task at hand, not looking at the 1,000-mile race in its totality. “I bear down on what we can do right now,” he said. “When you look back at 1,000 miles, what these dogs just covered, the challenges they faced, you can’t swallow that in one bite. But I can have a one good step at a time. We’re gonna stumble along the way, no doubt. But we pick ourselves up and take another good step. And if you keep doing that, that leads to something.”
 By winning the race for the sixth time, he beat Rick Swenson’s longstanding record of five championships. Seavey reflected on that in his comments at the finish line. “The first Iditarod that I won was a super special one. It’ll always be the most special one to me,” he said. The second one proved that the first victory wasn’t a fluke. With the third win, “You know, you’re supposed to be here.” And then with the fourth win, he joined the likes of Lance Mackey, Susan Butcher, Martin Buser, Doug Swingley. The circle got smaller with winning number 5, with only Rick Swenson having achieved as many wins. Number six, he said, was supposed to be hard. “It had to be special, it had to be more than just the normal Iditarod. And for me it was,” Seavey said.
Seavey said he wanted to honor his entire dog team at the finish line . “There wasn’t a core group of super athletes but these guys had a lot of heart. And it was a team that worked together the whole way down the trail. When I bring these guys up here, I want to recognize them as representing the entire team. The ones that were on the team in Anchorage, and those that aren’t here in Nome. And also the ones that were here during the training year and who aren’t here at all anymore. This was a really tough year and these guys they brought it home for all of us.”

 

The Nome Nugget

PO Box 610
Nome, Alaska 99762
USA

Phone: (907) 443-5235
Fax: (907) 443-5112

www.nomenugget.net

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