Posts Tagged With: MItch Seavey

Mitch and Dallas on CBS This Morning

CBS This Morning

This morning, Mitch and Dallas Seavey appeared on CBS This Morning. It was a little odd watching mushers accustomed to the grim Alaskan wilderness in a perky morning show setting, but it was nice to see the race get some Outside publicity. Dallas especially seemed to take to it.

Here’s a link to the video:

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Iditarod XLI: Seavey Win Recap and Top Ten Finishers

Mitch Seavey Victory

Mitch Seavey beneath the Burled Arch in Nome with his lead dogs, Tanner and Taurus. AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Bill Roth

Mitch Seavey can finally stop looking over his shoulder. He is the winner of the 41st Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, beating second-place finisher, Aliy Zirkle, by only 24-minutes–the same lead he had over her at the race’s last checkpoint of Safety 3 hours and 2 minutes earlier. Zirkle kept up the pressure on Seavey to the very end, never quite making up ground from Safety, but never losing it either.

Seavey’s win was notable for a couple of reasons. First, it made the 53-year-old Seward native the oldest winning musher in Iditarod history. Before last night, Jeff King held that distinction with his 2006 win at age 50. Second, it is the first time a father and son have won back-to-back victories in the Iditarod. Mitch’s son Dallas won last year’s race (again over Zirkle) at the age of 25, becoming the youngest musher to win the coveted title.

So now the Seavey clan can boast about having both the oldest and the youngest Iditarod champions.

Seavey has always bristled when asked about the age issue, but it was clear after last night’s victory that he was proud of his accomplishment. “This is for all of the gentlemen of a certain age who think it ends at 50, because it doesn’t,” he told the cameras and crowd surrounding Nome’s famed Burled Arch.

Seavey reached the Burled Arch last night at 10:39pm (AKDT). His completion time was 9 days, 7 hours, 39 minutes, and 56 seconds. (John Baker holds the record for the fastest time with his 2011 win in 8 days, 18 hours, 46 minutes, and 39 seconds.) Aliy Zirkle’s completion time was 9 days, 8 hours, 3 minutes, and 35 seconds. Jeff King came in third, a little more than an hour after Zirkle, with a finish time of 9 days, 9 hours, 21 minutes, and 56 seconds.

All three mushers gave affectionate pats and hugs to their dogs after crossing the finish. Seavey’s lead dogs, Tanner and Taurus, joined him at the winner’s podium wearing yellow victory garlands. Zirkle’s dogs, ravenous after an energy-fueled finish, chowed down on snacks beneath the Burled Arch. The 57-year-old King, weary, and perhaps tiring of media questions, lay down on Front Street with his lead dog Skeeter as cameras flashed.

Dallas Seavey’s fourth place finish was impressive given that halfway through the race, in the ghost town of Iditarod, he was more than 8 hours behind then-leader Martin Buser. He jumped 8 places in the second half of the race. DeeDee Jonrowe managed to get her 16th top ten Iditarod finish by passing Aaron Burmeister on the last leg between Safety and Nome.

It was an exciting race, starting with Martin Buser’s unprecedented nonstop run to the Rohn checkpoint 188 miles from the start. The bold move gave Buser a more than 4- hour lead ahead of second place Matt Failor, who was running a team of Buser’s dogs and also following his strategy, and a more than 7-hour lead ahead of the rest of the pack. Buser and Failor took their 24-hour mandatory rests in Rohn and were bypassed by other mushers who took their breaks further down the trail. But by Iditarod, Buser had retaken the lead, while Failor faded. Coming into Anvik, Buser again had a 4-hour advantage.

However, during his Yukon River run, Buser lost a considerable amount of his once seemingly insurmountable lead, as he battled fierce headwinds, ice, and rain. Mitch Seavey, who had never been far from the pack behind Buser, was only a little more than an hour behind him coming into Kaltag. Seavey cut his rest short in Kaltag and left around the same time as Buser. Buser stopped several times outside of Kaltag to rest and was passed by a host of mushers, including Seavey, Aaron Burmeister, Jeff King, and Aliy Zirkle. His initial 4-hour lead was gone, and he was clearly slowing. By the time he reached Unalakleet, Buser was in tenth place.

Buser’s slowdown halfway through the race may have been a result of his fast push at the beginning, or it may have been due to a batch of bad water he gave his dogs at the Iditarod checkpoint. It will be interesting to hear Buser’s assessment of where he felt his strategy went wrong once he finishes the race. As of this writing, he is currently between Safety and Nome.

The race after Kaltag was every bit as exciting, with Mitch Seavey, running a race of fundamentals, holding the lead into Unalakleet. He stayed on top until Koyuk, where he took a nearly four hour rest, allowing Jeff King to briefly steal the lead before stopping to break 8 miles outside the Koyuk checkpoint. The two mushers ended their rests at approximately the same time, and Seavey, apparently with a little more in the tank, was able to regain the lead over the laboring King.

Zirkle also passed King to take second place. Cutting her rest short in Elim, she left less than an hour after Seavey and by White Mountain she was only 13 minutes from the lead. The race from White Mountain, where all mushers must take a mandatory 8-hour break, was basically the sled-dog equivalent of a drag race. Seavey extended his lead to 24 minutes going into Safety, but from Safety to Nome his lead stayed the same. It was one of the closest finishes in Iditarod history.

Here are the top ten Iditarod XLI finishers and their completion times:

  1. Mitch Seavey (9 days, 7 hours, 39 minutes, and 56 seconds)
  2. Aliy Zirkle (9 days, 8 hours, 3 minutes, 35 seconds)
  3. Jeff King (9 days, 9 hours, 21 minutes, 56 seconds)
  4. Dallas Seavey (9 days, 10 hours, 20 minutes, 51 seconds)
  5. Ray Redington Jr. (9 days, 11 hours, 4 minutes, 54 seconds)
  6. Nicolas Petit (9 days, 11 hours, 39 minutes, 13 seconds)
  7. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (9 days, 12 hours, 34 minutes, 0 seconds)
  8. Jake Berkowitz (9 days, 12 hours, 34 minutes, 16 seconds)
  9. Sonny Lindner (9 days, 13 hours, 11 minutes, 2 seconds)
  10. DeeDee Jonrowe (9 days, 13 hours, 24 minutes, 39 seconds)
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Mitch Seavey Wins Iditarod XLI

Mitch Seavey

Mitch Seavey has won his second Iditarod, crossing beneath the Burled Arch in Nome three miles ahead of second-place finisher Aliy Zirkle. It was one of the closest Iditarod finishes ever, with Zirkle coming in just 23 minutes and 39 seconds behind Seavey.

The closest Iditarod finish was in 1978, when Dick Mackey beat Rick Swenson by one second.

The race was neck-and-neck all the way from White Mountain, where Zirkle had gained considerable ground on Seavey after once trailing him by two hours. Zirkle came into the checkpoint just 13 minutes behind Seavey. By the next checkpoint in Safety, 40 miles away, Seavey had extended his lead to 24 minutes, about a 3-mile lead. He maintained this lead to the finish.

Last year, Zirkle came in second place behind another Seavey–Dallas Seavey, Mitch’s son.

Jeff King appears to be heading for a third-place finish. He is currently halfway between Safety and Nome with more than a five-mile lead on the next musher, Dallas Seavey. Ray Redington Jr., Joar Leifseth Ulsom, and Nicolas Petit are battling for fifth place.

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Iditarod XLI: Zirkle 13 Minutes Behind Seavey into White Mountain

This morning, Aliy Zirkle trailed just 13 minutes behind the leader, Mitch Seavey, coming into the White Mountain checkpoint. Seavey reached the checkpoint at 5:11am (AKST). Jeff King, who held the lead for a short time yesterday outside of Koyuk, arrived at White Mountain at 6:52am. Ray Redington Jr. and Dallas Seavey are currently battling for fourth place less than 5 miles from White Mountain. They are followed by Joar Leifseth Ulsom, Nicolas Petit, Aaron Burmeister, Jake Berkowitz, Sonny Lindner, and DeeDee Jonrowe, all of whom are within 25 miles of the checkpoint.

After holding the lead since before Unalakleet, Mitch Seavey briefly lost it to King in Koyuk. Reaching Koyuk at 7:42am yesterday, Seavey stopped to rest for 3-1/2 hours. Jeff King arrived in Koyuk at 8:16am, and after a 6-minute stop continued on, taking the lead for the first time in the race. King stopped to rest about 8 miles outside the Koyuk checkpoint, presumably, to keep an eye on other mushers approaching. He began moving again just after 11:00am, minutes before Mitch Seavey left Koyuk. However, King stopped for several hours before Elim, allowing Seavey to pass him and regain the lead. Seavey was first to reach the Elim checkpoint at 6:36pm. As Ray Redington Jr., Aliy Zirkle, and Aaron Burmeister approached, King ended his rest. King and Zirkle battled for second going into Elim, with King reaching the checkpoint at 8:32pm and Zirkle ten minutes behind him. Redington and Burmeister followed soon after.

Seavey left Elim last night at 9:37pm, followed by Zirkle at 10:25 and King at 11:54. Zirkle managed to stay within 5 miles of Seavey the entire way to White Mountain.

All of the mushers must take a mandatory 8-hour rest at White Mountain. Mitch Seavey will leave the checkpoint just 13 minutes ahead of Zirkle, a very slim lead. With less than 80 miles to Nome, it will be a dash to the Burled Arch. Seavey will have a battle on his hands as Zirkle has gained 1-1/2 hours on him since Koyuk. She will not want to repeat another second place finish behind a Seavey.

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Iditarod XLI: Mitch Seavey Leads into Koyuk

The race is on as the frontrunners cross the frozen Norton Sound on the Bering Sea Coast. With less than 200 miles to Nome, 2004 Iditarod champion, Mitch Seavey, is going for his second win as he continues to lead the pack less than two miles outside the Koyuk checkpoint. Four-time champion Jeff King has maneuvered himself into second just a few miles behind Seavey, with Aaron Burmeister, Aliy Zirkle, and Ray Redington Jr. five miles behind him. Norwegian rookie Joar Leifseth Ulsom, running an impressive race, trails fifteen miles behind Seavey. Jake Berkowitz, Dallas Seavey, and Sonny Lindner have all left Shaktoolik in the past two hours. DeeDee Jonrowe reached the Shaktoolik checkpoint at 4:01am.

Mitch Seavey left Shaktoolik at 1:15am (AKST), followed by Burmeister and King less than an hour later. Zirkle,  Redington, and Ulsom departed about an hour after that. Only three minutes separated Burmeister and King. King made his move and passed Burmeister at 2:50am, about 6 miles outside of Shaktoolik.

Seavey must be feeling the heat. He has been holding onto a slim lead since before Unalakleet. Jeff King has gained considerable ground on Seavey since arriving in Unalakleet more than three hours behind him. His early rests seem to have left him and his team a lot in the tank. His dogs looked energetic coming into Shaktoolik, although he did drop two dogs there and is now down to a team of 11.

King just has to remember not to make the same mistake he made in 2008, when he fell asleep at the Elim checkpoint and allowed Lance Mackey, whom King had been tailing for the second half of the race, to slip out unnoticed. The mistake cost him the race.

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Iditarod XLI: March 10, 2013: Mitch Seavey Leads into Unalakleet

Mitch Seavey edged Aaron Burmeister into Unalakleet this morning at 10:13am (AKST) after a long, nonstop 12-1/2 run from Kaltag that saw both mushers jockeying for position after overtaking frontrunner Aliy Zirkle last night.

Zirkle, who made frequent rest stops along the trail from Kaltag, was stopped about 15 miles outside of the checkpoint when Aaron Burmeister made his move, taking the lead. Close behind him were Mitch Seavey, Jake Berkowitz, Martin Buser, Joar Leifseth Ulsom, and Dallas Seavey. Mitch Seavey eventually passed Burmeister at about 8am. Both mushers were neck-and-neck coming into Unalakleet.

Buser, once considered the hands-on favorite, has faded and is currently resting on the trail about halfway between Kaltag and Unalakleet. He is in 11th place.

Zirkle is currently in fifth about 20 miles from Unalakleet. It will be interesting to see if she decides to stop and rest in Unalakleet or does what she’s been doing all along, resting between checkpoints then passing through and leapfrogging into the lead. She has had 5-hours rest on the trail between Kaltag and Unalakleet. Seavey and Burmeister didn’t rest at all on the long 85-mile run, so they’ll likely have a long rest in Unalakleet.

The big surprise of the night was Jeff King, who reached Kaltag at 8pm last night and, after a nearly 5-hour rest, headed out for Unalakleet. He passed Aliy Zirkle around 8:20am this morning and is now in fourth place. This after leaving Iditarod 12-hours behind the leader!

So here’s how the top ten looks this morning:

Mitch Seavey

Aaron Burmeister

Jake Berkowitz

Jeff King

Aliy Zirkle

Ray Redington Jr.

Joar Leifseth Ulsom

Dallas Seavey

DeeDee Jonrowe

John Baker

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