Like Father, Like Son

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Some say dynasty, Dallas says competitors that happen to be related. For the first time in Iditarod history, son and father took 1st and 2nd in The Last Great Race. The last four years the race has seen a Seavey cross the Burled Arch in 1st place; 2012 was Dallas, 2013 was Mitch, and 2014 and 2015 also Dallas.

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Family waiting for the arrival of Dallas.

Fans started lining up outside the chute around 3:00 a.m. to greet Dallas as he arrived to Nome. Around 4:07 a.m. the siren notified fans that Dallas was off the sea ice and would be on Front Street shortly. A Nome police car escorted Dallas down Front Street and soon we saw the glowing of the dogs’ eyes. Under the arch Dallas’ mom, grandma and grandpa, wife, daughter, brothers, and sponsors anxiously awaited his arrival. At 4:13 a.m. with a time of 8 days, 18 hours, 13 minutes, and 6 seconds, Dallas and his dogs crossed the Burled Arch winning his third Iditarod.

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Before anything else took place, Dallas went to each of his dogs and gave them a “great job” pet on the head and they all received snacks. Then came the pictures, media, and interviews. Dallas spoke highly of his dogs, naming them all and telling fans the importance of each member of the team. As he spoke of his dogs you could hear the pride in his voice, like a proud parent. Dallas never said, “I,” it was always “we,” as in him and his dogs. He spoke of the trust he has in his dogs and the trust his dogs have in him. Trust is a critical aspect of sled dog mushing.

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Proud grandpa, Dan Seavey, watching on.

Dallas is a third generation Iditarod musher. His grandfather, Dan Seavey, ran the very first Iditarod in 1973 and placed third. He continued on to run a total of five Iditarods. His father, Mitch Seavey, just finished his 21st Iditarod. He has won twice and had several top ten finishes. A fourth generation is in the making, Dallas’ daughter has begun mushing as well. Dallas and his father have a great relationship, one which revolves around dog mushing. They don’t, however, share their best strategies with each other. During race time, they are competitors. Dallas mentioned no father wants to get beat by their son and no son wants to get beat by their father. This year it was Dallas who got the best of his father.

About 8:10 a.m. the siren sounded again, this time notifying fans Mitch Seavey was off the sea ice. Again, the same family members awaited the arrival of another Seavey. Proud family members witnessing a making in history, son and father finishing 1st and 2nd. Mitch and his dogs crossed the Burled Arch at 8:22 a.m. with a time of 8 days, 22 hours, 22 minutes, and 56 seconds. He hugged his wife and acknowledged his dogs. Mitch recognized his pride for his son, but of course, said he wished it would have been him. You can tell how competitive the duo is with each other.

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Mitch Seavey with his wife looking on.

The race is far from over. This race is not over until the last musher crosses under the Burled Arch. There are mushers still out on the trail battling frostbite, sleep deprivation, stress, and other exhausting struggles determined to achieve personal victory and making it to Nome. Continue to follow and watch these mushers and they reach their goals.