Mitch Seavey poses with one of his dogs, Taurus. (Bill Roth / MCT )
Mitch Seavey, 53, won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race late Tuesday night to become the oldest winner in the race's history.
“This is for all of the gentlemen of a certain age,” he said.
Seavey, who completed the 1,000-mile race in nine days, seven hours and 39 minutes, finished 24 minutes ahead of runner-up Aliy Zirkle.
“Mitch has this ability to sit on the sidelines and refuel because he knows he needs to refuel, while everyone else is zooming by,” she said. “It's smart, and that's probably why [he] won.”
Seavey wins $50,400 and a 2013 pickup truck. The rest of the $600,000 purse will be split among the next 29 mushers to cross the finish line.
And what do the dogs get? The winners get to wear yellow garlands. Those dogs must be thinking "Wait, we did all the work. We pulled this guy 1,000 miles and all we get are flowers?"
Before Seavey's win, Jeff King had been the oldest Iditarod champion, winning his fourth race at 50 in 2006.
“Last year, we saw a lot of those youngsters in the top 10,” race spokeswoman Erin McLarnon said. “Some of those 45-plusers are taking back the lead this year. They are showing the young ‘uns what they can really do out there on that trail.”
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