Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race
The Iditarod Sled Dog Race is a 1,149-mile race that spans the state of Alaska. Beginning with the ceremonial start on the first Saturday of every March in Anchorage, the race concludes for top finishers some nine days later in Nome. Along the 1,000-mile journey mushers and their teams travel over rugged mountain ranges, frozen rivers, windswept tundra and even over frozen sea ice. Every Iditarod race has included open water crossings, long stretches with no snow – so the mushers are running on dirt and rocks and ice, and temperatures from 40 above to 50 below. Needless to say, you have to have a few loose screws to sign up for this! And yet every year we find ourselves signing up for another go-round. As a family, we have had three generations compete in the Iditarod and, collectively, we have 37 Iditarod finishes under our belts. Our family’s history with the Iditarod goes back to the inaugural planning stages of the very first race.
Back in 1971, Dan Seavey Sr. began working with Alaska heroes such as Joe Redington Sr., Tom Johnson, and Gleo Huyck to put on a race across Alaska that would commemorate the old Seward-Iditarod-Nome trail used during the gold rush. After two years of hard work, Dan took to the trail with eleven dogs as one of thirty-six mushers in the very first Iditarod in 1973. He currently serves on the board of directors, but long ago passed the racing torch to his son Mitch who has competed in 21 Iditarods. Mitch has done exceptionally well with 11 top 10 finishes including a first place finish in 2004. In 2013, Mitch became the oldest to win the Iditarod at the age of 53. To say we’re happy with our record is an understatement.
The Iditarod is an extremely competitive race that tests both the musher and the dogs’ endurance, perseverance and skill. Each finish is always a close one. Believe it or not, a 1,000-mile sled dog race is often won by less than two hours, and the closest finish in Iditarod history was decided by the nose of the lead dog. Each year, as a family, we put countless hours into training our dogs in order to prepare them for the journey. Mitch’s three oldest boys, Danny, Tyrell and Dallas grew up working in the dog yard and helping dad train, and have all competed in the race. In 2011 Dallas won the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest and took 4th place in Iditarod. In 2012 he become the youngest Iditarod Champion at age of 25, and won the race a second time in 2014. Conway, Mitch’s youngest son, competes in the junior racing circuit, completing four Junior Iditarods with two wins. He will run Iditarod when he becomes eligible in 2015.
We invite you to come along with us on one of our tours to see just what it takes to be an Iditarod Musher and an Iditarod dog. We guarantee our dogs’ excitement and enthusiasm will astound you. We hope you decide to come meet us and our dogs and to follow along as we prepare for the next Iditarod.
The Seavey Family