Youngest Ever Iditarod Winner

Dallas Seavey was the first to cross the finish line of the 40th Iditarod race in Nome, Alaska, yesterday evening. At 25 years old, he is the youngest winner of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race ever, though it's not his first sports championship -he was a state and national champion wrestler in high school.
A third-generation musher who shared the race trail this year with his father and grandfather, Seavey kicked from White Mountain to Nome on Tuesday. A north wind walloped his sled, fanning snow into the Bering Sea as the young musher extended his lead into Safety and pushed ahead for the title.

Seavey finished at 7:29 p.m., an hour ahead of runner-up Aliy Zirkle. His total time for the 975-mile race was 9 days, 4 hours, 29 minutes and 26 seconds.

This was Seavey's fifth Iditarod. His father won the race in 2004. Link -via The Daily What

(Image credit: Marc Lester/Anchorage Daily News)

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Dallas Seavey learned how to treat sled dogs from his father, Mitch. That's why people wonder if Dallas uses the same cruel techniques on his dogs. In his book Lead Follow of Get Out of the Way, Mitch wrote:

From page 86:

"Call his name and a command, like 'hike up.' When he doesn't respond, stop, go up to the dog, pull back on his tug line and with a pre-selected willow stick about 1/2 inch in diameter and three feet long, give him a good whack on the butt as you repeat the command. You have to whack him good, too."

From page 108:

"Distance racing does have its negative moments (gasp!); time when Fluffy would rather not do what I want him to do, like pull the dang sled.

'Fluffy, hike up!'

Fluffy thinks, 'No thanks. Actually I'm a little tired here, and pulling would be a negative experience so I don't think I would like to pull the sled. No, I definitely don't want to pull the sled right now.'

'Fluffy, quit-your-screwing-around-you-miserable-excuse-of-a-fur-covered-garbage-disposal-before-I-whack-your-worthless-hiney-so-hard-you-will-need-two-stamps-to-send-back-a-postcard.'

Collect yourself a stick, give the verbal command 'hike up;' stop the sled, pull back on Fluggy's tug line, and whack Fluffy's butt."

From page 159:

"You also need to trim the hair on the bottom of the dogs' feet to prevent ice balls from forming and clinging to the hair. You can use a scissors or an electric clipper to trim it even with the pads. Don't take it out from between the toes though, because dogs without any hair between their pads can form big ice balls in there when running barefoot in the snow.

After you've trimmed the hair you need to 'candle' their feet, or singe the ends of the hair that you trimmed. This make snow even less likely to collect in the foot hair.

Notice the term is 'candle' the feet. My boys are always looking for faster ways to do their chores. I suppose that is why they started using a propane torch to 'candle' dogs' feet. That in turn explains why, upon entering the shop one winter's day, I observed the back half of my best leader apparently going up in flames. This gives a whole new meaning to the term, 'Put the dog out, son!"
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