A rooke musher, with a very familiar name, has won the 2011 Yukon Quest Sled Dog Race by crossing the finish line in Fairbanks, Alaska last night. The race, which got underway on February 5th from Whitehorse, Canada, stretches for more than 1000 miles along trails used by prospectors when the gold rush hit the region at the turn of the 20th century.
23-year old Dallas Seavey finished the race at approximately 11:05 PM local time last evening, beating out second place finisher Sebastian Schnuelle by 33 minutes. Seavey, who is the son of 2004 Iditarod champ Mitch Seavey, became the youngest musher to ever win the Yukon Quest, taking home $28,395 in prize money.
The Yukon Quest serves as a precursor to the Iditarod each year and often gives us a look at the top sled dog teams before they hit the trail in that 1161-mile monster of a race. But success in the Yukon Quest has not always translated over to the Iditarod, as only Lance Mackey, a legend in the sport, has managed to win both races in the same year. The Iditarod gets underway on March 5th this year, and as usual, I intend to cover the event as best as I can.
As for Dallas Seavey, he has already proven himself in the Iditarod, and this win confirms what many have felt about him. He shown that he has quite a knack for the sport, and there are high hopes for his future in dogsledding. Expect him to be in contention when the Iditarod turns toward Nome in late March.
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