J. J. Keller Musher Wins 1,150-mile Iditarod
NOME, ALASKA — In what may be the most exciting Iditarod ever, Dallas Seavey — a musher sponsored by James and Rosanne Keller of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. — became the youngest musher in history to win the Iditarod Alaskan sled dog race.
Seavey, age 25, finished the 40th annual Iditarod in Nome, Alaska, on Tuesday, March 13 at 7:29 p.m. ADST. He finished in nine days, four hours, 29 minutes and 26 seconds.
By far Alaska’s best-known sporting event, the Iditarod is a 1,150-mile sled dog race from Anchorage to Nome. Mushers and their sled dogs travel through jagged mountain ranges, frozen rivers, dense forest, desolate tundra and miles of windswept coast battling below-zero temperatures, high winds, and long hours of darkness and isolation.
In his sixth run to the famed Burled Arch finish line, Dallas competed against 65 registered mushers in this highly contested race. At the halfway point, Dallas and his father, Mitch Seavey, each reached top-five positions as they fought to gain momentum.
While Seavey Sr. fell in and out of the top five during the second half of the race, Dallas continued to gain ground on those ahead, eventually leading the pack out of Shaktoolik.
From there, he played a game of cat-and-mouse with Aliy Zirkle, as they each took turns leading the race.
Even as they headed into White Mountain, the last major checkpoint for the final, mandatory eight-hour rest, the race was too close to call.
Many credit Seavey’s athletic stamina as a key to his success. Having wrestled at an international level just a few years ago, it was clear in this race that the musher was in peak physical condition, some noting that Dallas was frequently off the sled runners, running on the tough terrain.
“I trained hard and had a veteran team that took me to the championship. You need to plan and think like a champion, and you can fulfill your dreams.” Seavey said afterward. “I’d also like to thank my sponsors. I would not be here without them.”
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