Musher Mitch Seavey has been crowned the champion of the 2013 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. At 53 years old, Seavey becomes the oldest man ever to win the Iditarod. Seavey was the first musher to reach Nome, Alaska, the Iditarod’s finish line, with a team of 10 dogs.
Seavey spent nine days, seven hours, 39 minutes and 56 seconds on the Iditarod trail to win the 2013 Iditarod race. This is Seavey’s second Iditarod victory after his first in 2004.
Winning is a Seavey family tradition. According to the official Iditarod website, Seavey’s son, Dallas, won the 2012 Iditarod race, and he also competed in the 2013 race.
For the Seavey family, mushing is part of their heritage. Mitch Seavey’s father, Dan Seavey, was also a musher. Aily Zirkle finished in second place, followed by Jeff King, a four-time Iditarod winner. Dallas Seavey arrived at Nome in fourth place. There are more than 40 mushers who are still racing along the Iditarod trail, while 11 mushers have already ready reached Nome.
Seavey completed the race at 10:39 p.m. Alaska time on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.
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As he crossed the finish line, he said, “This is for all of the gentlemen of a certain age.”
The race was close. Seavey battled Zirkle for position as the two headed to Nome, the AP noted.
Zirkle was looking to become the first woman to win the Iditarod since 1990 and the fourth woman to become champion, the AP reported. She finished the Iditarod 24 minutes behind Seavey and was the runner-up last year. Seavey congratulated Zirkle as she crossed the finish line, saying, “You're going to win this thing, probably more than once,” according to the AP.
Seavey congratulated and pet his lead dogs, Tanner and Taurus, after the race. The 2013 Iditarod race reversed the trend of last year’s race, in which many of the top finishers were relatively young, with most of them in their 20s or 30s, the AP noted. Erin McLarnon, an Iditarod spokeswoman, said, “Some of those 45-plussers are taking back the lead this year. They are showing the young 'uns what they can really do out there on that trail.”
With the victory, Seavey wins $50,400 and a 2013 Dodge Ram truck while the top 29 finishers will split $549,600, around $18,951 for each musher.