"Mitch Seavey scored one for the AARP-eligible crowd Tuesday night by becoming the oldest champion in Iditarod history," observed the Anchorage Daily News this morning.
53-year-old Mitch Seavey has won the 2013 Last Great Race on Earth, the Iditarod. He is the oldest winner in the 40-year history of the race. Seavey also won the 2004 Iditarod. Mitch Seavey and 10 dogs crossed the Nome finish line to cheering crowds at 10:39 p.m. Alaska time Tuesday, March 12.
“This is for all of the gentlemen of a certain age,” he told the Associated Press, after crossing the finish line in temperatures just above zero. His race time in the 1,600-kilometre race was nine days, 7 hours and 39 minutes.
Fittingly, Seavey's son Dallas Seavey is the youngest to win the gruelling 1,000-mile challenge. Dallas won last year's race at age 25.
Showing a strong effort this year was 25-year-old Native musher Peter Kaiser, Yup'ik. He finished 13th overall. Kaiser was the top finisher among the nine Indigenous mushers competing in this year's race.
This morning, Alaska Congressman Don Young, chairman for the House Subcommittee on Alaska Native and Indian Affairs, issued a statement congratulating Seavey.
“I wish to congratulate Mitch Seavey, lead dog Tanner and the rest of the team on their historic Iditarod victory. The Iditarod Sled Dog Race is steeped in family history, from the Seaveys, to the Redingtons and Mackeys. Picking up where his son Dallas left off in 2012, Mitch’s win ensures that the Iditarod title will remain in the family for at least another year, and at age 53, Seavey becomes the oldest Iditarod winner in race history,” Rep. Young said. “Winning the ‘Last Great Race’ is an amazing feat at any age, and I applaud Mitch and his team on his second Iditarod win. And to all those still competing, I wish you a safe and enjoyable ride as you complete your journey to Nome.”