Youngest Musher Ever Wins Iditarod
Dallas Seavey, 25, first to cross the line in Nome
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Mar 14, 2012 2:27 AM CDT
Dallas Seavey zips toward the finish line in Nome.   (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – A 25-year-old five-time Iditarod racer became the youngest musher ever to win the grueling sled-dog contest. The first thing Dallas Seavey did at the end of the 1,000-mile race in Nome yesterday was to greet family and friends—then hug his nine dogs, reports AP. "They mean the world to me," said Seavey, who turned 25 just 10 days ago, on the race's first day. "I could not be prouder of these guys." He threw an arm around his favorite dogs, Guinness and Diesel, on the winner's podium, and added: "Dream big!" He finished an hour ahead of female racer Aliy Zirkle, 41, who was runner-up.

Seavey credited his win to a strategy of holding back his team before letting them go full-out in the final leg, and often running with the sled himself to give his dogs every break possible, he told the Anchorage Daily News. The previous youngest winner grabbed first place at the age of 26, and is a 61-year-old participant in this year's race. Seavey's dad, Mitch, who won the race in 2004, was also in the race, and his granddad, 74, was running his fifth Iditarod yesterday. "It's kind of what we do," said Dallas. Sixty-six teams began the race on March 4, and 11 mushers have dropped out.