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Dallas Seavey Wins 3rd Iditarod In 4 Years

Volunteers help raise the Iditarod finishers banner at the burled arch finish line on Monday. Dallas Seavey won the race Wednesday morning.

Dallas Seavey won his third Iditarod in four years, crossing under the burled arch in Nome on Wednesday morning.

Seavey finished the 1,100-mile sled dog race in eight days, 18 hours, 13 minutes, and six seconds.

Emily Schwing of Alaska Public Media reports that Seavey "made the 22-mile run from Safety, the Iditarod's final stop before the finish line in Nome, in three hours. He finished the race with 10 dogs."

The Associated Press reports on the scene at the finish line:

" 'It takes a whole team to get any of us here,' [Seavey] told reporters at a finish line ceremony, which was broadcast and live-streamed. Later, he hoisted two of his dogs onto his lap and officials draped the animals with garlands of yellow flowers.

" 'As long as you take care of the dog team [and] make good decisions, good things will happen. Wins are a result of doing what we love,' Seavey said, adding he tried to keep the race fun."

Seavey's father, Mitch, was in second place as of Wednesday morning. The elder Seavey won the race in 2013 (Dallas finished fourth that year) and in 2004.

"We want to beat each other," Dallas Seavey told the Alaska Dispatch News this week when asked about his father.

He said they live about five hours apart, adding that while he learned "how to mush from my dad," he also built on things he felt his father did "that are inefficient."

NPR interviewed the younger Seavey after he won the race for the first time, in 2012. You can hear that interview here.

Seavey pulled into White Mountain around 10 a.m. local time Tuesday where he took a mandatory eight-hour rest before setting off for Nome.

Traditionally, mushers who are the first to leave White Mountain go on to win the Iditarod. But last year, a snowstorm blew the leaders out of the race. That opened the door for Seavey, who left White Mountain in third place, to win.

He didn't even know he had won last year's race until a cameraman told him.

Although he held a 25-mile lead early Tuesday, Seavey said last year's crazy finish would keep him pushing to the end.

"That's way too fresh in my mind to forget about," he told The Dispatch News.

Seavey, 28, received $70,000 and a new pickup truck for the win.

As Schwing reported earlier this month, weather was a factor in making the Iditarod route this year:

"The Iditarod normally starts in Anchorage, but the race committee was forced to relocate the start line to Fairbanks due to poor trail conditions.

"This year's reroute includes a section of trail that doesn't get much winter traffic. Some places have little to no snow coverage, and in at least one spot, there is open water where there should be solid ice."

The AP reported that a total of 78 mushers began the race, and since then, eight scratched and one was disqualified. Two dogs have died during this year's race.

Seavey finished at 4:13 a.m. local time Wednesday morning.

"I want to congratulate Dallas Seavey and his team of four-legged athletes on their third Iditarod victory in four years," Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan said in a statement.

"Dallas has ensured that the Iditarod crown stays in the Seavey family for another year."

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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