The 2012 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race came to an exciting end Tuesday evening when 25-year-old Dallas Seavey claimed victory in the 1000-mile race. By crossing the finish line first, he also became the youngest person to ever win the event.
Held annually in Alaska, the Iditarod has become the state’s most popular sporting event. The racers, along with their teams of powerful dogs, begin the race in Anchorage and follow a historical trail all the way to Nome. Back in 1925 that town faced a diphtheria epidemic and mushers raced along the same trail to deliver life-saving medicine in time. The modern day Iditarod commemorates that daring feat and salutes the men and their dogs who risked their lives to save others.
In order to win the event Seavey had to fend off plenty of competition from a tough and experienced field. In the end, he finished an hour ahead of second place musher Aliy Zirkle and while an hour may seem like a large gap, when you consider that the competitors have been racing for ten days straight, you realize that it is actually a narrow margin. Veteran musher Ramey Smyth arrived in Nome in third place after making a late charge to the front of the pack.For Seavey, dog sledding is a family affair. His father Mitch won the event back in 2004 and had a respectable seventh place finish this year. Grandfather Dan raced in the original Iditarod 40 years ago and as of this writing he is holding down the 52nd position in this years race as well. He is still a few days from reaching the finish line where he will undoubtedly give Dallas a proper congratulations.
Over the course of the next few days the last of the competitors will straggle across the finish line in Nome. For a full leaderboard and more information on the race visit Iditarod.com.
[Photo credit: Marc Lester/Anchorage Daily News)