The Iditarod dog race ended on Tuesday with a close finish. Winner Dallas Seavey won by only two minutes, 22 seconds. His biggest rival, Aliy Zirkle, had been in the lead for most of the race but stopped 22 miles short of the finish line to wait out a storm. The storm put her nineteen minutes behind Seavey, and she almost caught up to him.
Even Seavey was unsure if he had beaten Zirkle and couldn’t believe he had won until almost 2 minutes after he had finished the race. This is Seavey’s second Iditarod win.
Jeff King had started out leading the race but was blown off course when he was only 25 miles away from the finish line. Seavey had come from third place to take the win. King was unable to get his dogs running again after they were blown off course by a huge gust of wind and had to hitch a ride with a snowmobile rider and scratched.
While Seavey’s win over Zirkle was a close one, there have been many other close races in the past. In 1978, Dick Mackey beat Rick Swenson by only one second.
Seavey has won the Iditarod once before and said that he thought he was racing for third place and assumed King and Zirkle had both beaten him.
“I wasn’t in a big hurry. I was racing for third, and I was telling my dogs, ‘We’ve done our work here, you guys have done a good job, let’s go home,'” Seavey said. “‘No rush, guys, let’s take it easy.'”
Seavey won $50,000 and a new truck for winning the race. He finished the race in eight days, 13 hours, 4 minutes and 19 seconds.
Were you surprised by the results of the race?
Image via Wikimedia Commons