Young Musher Makes HistoryBy Suzanne Freeman
This year, Dallas Seavey will make history by becoming the first musher ever
to run the Jr. Iditarod and the Iditarod in the same year. While many would
say the feat takes a lot of guts, Dallas is quick to point out that it also
takes a little luck and timing.
Conquering 1,150 miles of Alaskan wilderness, however, is anything but simple,
especially since Dallas’s team of 2-year-old dogs are Iditarod rookies.
Dallas insists he’s up for the challenge. After all, he’s had years to prepare for his date with destiny. He also comes from a long line of mushers. His father, Mitch Seavey, won the Iditarod last year. Both of his older brothers have won the Jr. Iditarod in the past.
When Dallas was just 6 years old, he got out an electronic calendar and forwarded to the year 2005. It was then that he figured out that his birthday would fall between the Jr. Iditarod and the Iditarod—a stroke of luck that would allow him to run both races.
Now the years of waiting are over, and Dallas is hard at work preparing for the quick turnaround between races.
“I’ll be using a lot of the same gear,” he says. “It’s
best to have your personal gear dried out, your gloves rounded up, everything
ready. With two races in a row like that, it makes it more difficult. Running
the Jr. right before will make it a little difficult as far as sleep deprivation.
Going into the Iditarod, I will probably be tired.”
“It’s what I’ve grown up doing,” he says. “It’s just you and the dogs out there. There are no engines. It’s a natural power from the dogs. It’s amazing how athletic they are. A lot of the times, when I’m out there, I wouldn’t want to come back for a week if I didn’t have to.”