Mitch Seavey became the oldest winner and a two-time Iditarod champion when he drove his dog team under the burled arch in Nome on Tuesday evening, March 12, 2013. He sits with his two lead dogs, Tanner, left and Taurus, right. AP Photo/The Anchorage Daily News, Bill Roth
After dogging (pun intended) the team of Mitch Seavey, 53, the oldest person ever to win the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, back-to-back second place winner Ally Zirkle couldn't quite catch him Tuesday night.
The finish of the 2013 Iditarod was close enough that I stayed up until midnight to watch Seavey cross under the Burled Arch for his second ever win.
Seavey's win is quite a feat considering the grueling conditions under which mushers and their teams travel through 1,100 miles of Alaskan wilderness!
According to the Anchorage Daily News, Seavey finished just 23 minutes, 39 seconds ahead of second place Ally Zirkle, making it the fourth closest finish in Iditarod history. Seavey crossed the finish line in 9 days, 7 hours, 39 minutes, 56 seconds.
He credited his big lead dog Tanner for kicking up the pace to outrun Zirkle for the win. This was Zirkle's second in a row, second place, nothing to sneeze at.
So what happened to four-time winner Lance Mackey, who had to put a team together nearly from scratch to run this year's Iditarod? Even with some young pups who had not ever raced in a long haul before, a frostbitten toe and a lost tooth, Mackey crossed the finish line in 19th place for yet another top 20 finish.
Martin Buser, who made that incredible run to Rohn in the first part of the race and then fell to illness and a nasty trail, came in 17th.
The amazing out-of-retirement four-time winner Jeff King came in third, with a strong team of dogs.
Of 66 mushers who started the race, 11 scratched, and 31 were still on the trail Wednesday.
You can watch the video of the 2013 finish at www.iditarod.com or read more news of the race at Anchorage Daily News at www.adn.com.
Every year brings new challenges and the 2013 race was no different. Iditarod.com is a great site to visit all year, because mushers already are talking about their strategies for 2014!
Stay tuned - as soon as Prescott Valley veterinarian Dr. Michael Walker returns home from volunteering from this year's race, I'll post an update.