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Dallas Seavey wins Iditarod, matches most wins by a musher

Dallas Seavey kneels alongside his dogs.
Dallas Seavey poses with his dogs after crossing the finish line to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race race near Willow, Alaska, early Monday morning.
(Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News)

Dallas Seavey on Monday won the pandemic-shortened Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, matching the most wins ever by a musher.

Seavey brought his 10 dogs across the finish line near the community of Willow, Alaska, with a healthy lead over the second-place musher, Aaron Burmeister.

It was the fifth title for Seavey, who matched the five-win threshold that only one other musher had accomplished. Rick Swenson won his five titles between 1977 and 1991.

“It’s a big deal,” Seavey said at the finish line after a race official checked to make sure his sled was complete with a sleeping bag, axe, dog booties and other mandatory gear. His finish was televised statewide.

Seavey said he didn’t allow himself to think about a fifth win while on the trail because he didn’t want to jinx it.

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“That’s huge, man,” he said. “I looked up to the Iditarod champions my whole life, and I’ve dreamed about this my whole life. And now to actually go from that to see it happen — to realize that, that’s pretty cool.”

His official winning time was 7 days, 14 hours, 8 minutes and 57 seconds.

Seavey previously won four titles in a five-year span, starting in 2012. He last raced in 2017 after Iditarod officials said four of his dogs tested positive for a banned opioid painkiller.

At the time, he vehemently denied giving his dogs any painkillers. A year later, the Iditarod reversed course and cleared Seavey of any wrongdoing.

But he sat out the race until this year, choosing to compete with his dogs in Europe instead.

This year’s Iditarod had a route change and was shortened to about 850 miles because of the pandemic.

Mushers started the race near Willow, about 50 miles north of Anchorage. From there, they traveled to the ghost town of Iditarod and then turned back around to finish in Willow.

A normal race is about 1,000 miles and takes mushers across the wilds of Alaska from Willow to the finish line in Nome, on the state’s Bering Sea coast.

Seavey won just over $40,000 and a snowmobile for winning the world’s premiere sled dog event.


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