53-year-old ex-champ wins Iditarod, is oldest winner of sled dog race

March 13, 2013

Mitch Seavey and  – look at that dog’s sweet face! (Bill Roth / AP)

Updated at 1:11 p.m.

Mitch Seavey became the oldest winner of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race although, let’s face it, the dogs did the hard work.

Seavey and his 10 pooches won the grueling 1,000-mile endurance race Tuesday night, crossing the Nome, Alaska, finish line ahead of Aliy Zirkle in the fourth-closest finish in race history. Seavey had a winning margin of 23 minutes, 39 seconds and finished the race in 9 days, 7 hours, 39 minutes, 56 seconds. “I was going for it,” Zirkle said (via the Anchorage Daily News), “but that slippery little sucker, I couldn’t catch him.”

Seavey, the 2004 Iditarod winner, is the father of the 2012 champion, Dallas Seavey. At 25, he was the youngest Iditarod winner ever. “This is for all the gentlemen of a certain age who think it ends at 50, ’cause it doesn’t,” Mitch Seavey said. Led by Tanner, a 6-year-old, orange-brown husky, Seavey’s team crossed the Front Street finish line at 10:39 p.m.


Mitch Seavey headed for Nome on the last leg of the Iditarod race Tuesday. (Bill Roth / AP)

“I gotta go congratulate my lead dog Tanner,” Seavey said. “He’s probably the best I’ve ever had. “Tanner is happy to be a sled dog and he makes it look easy.”

Seavey’s prize for winning the race is $50,400 and a Dodge Ram pickup truck; Zirkle gets $47,100. As for Tanner, well, maybe he gets to ride up front in the new pickup.

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren · March 13, 2013