The winner of the 2013 Iditarod is 53 year old Mitch Seavey. He is the oldest musher to win in the 41 year history of the Iditarod. Last year Mitch’s son, Dallas, was the youngest Iditarod winner at the age of 25. The race is a 1000 mile sled dog race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska. Seavey completed the course in 9 days, 7 hours and 39 minutes. This is amazing considering the unpredictable weather, harsh temperatures and dangerous trail conditions.
Aliy Zirkle came in second, 23 minutes behind Seavey. Had she won, she would have been the first female winner in 23 years.
1967 was the 100th anniversary of Alaska being a U.S. Territory after being purchased from Russia. Dorothy Page, chairman of the committee, got the idea of a sled dog race over the historic Iditarod Trail. Joe Redington Sr., later known as the Father of Iditarod, gave his support.
Redington had two reasons for organizing the long distance race: to save the sled dog culture and Alaskan huskies which were being phased our of existence due to snowmobiles and to preserve the historic Iditarod Trail between Seward and Nome. The race is a reconstruction of the freight route to Nome and commemorates the part that sled dogs played in the settlement of Alaska.
Joe Redington was quoted in Nan Elliot’s book, I’d Swap my Old Skidoo for You. “When I went out to villages ( in the 1950’s) where there were once beautiful dogs , a snow machine was sitting in front of a house and no dogs. It wasn’t good. I didn’t like that I’d seen snow machines break down and fellows freeze to death out there in the wilderness. But dogs will always keep you warm and they’ll always get you there.”