J.J. Keller-sponsored musher wins Iditarod

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Iditarod3The folks at trucking-industry publisher J.J. Keller & Associates announced this morning the awesome culmination of the company’s investment in young competitive musher Dallas Seavey (pictured from the trail), who came out on top in the Iditarod Alaskan sled-dog race finish Tuesday. With the win, Seavey’s Keller-sponsored team’s performance allowed him to become the youngest musher in history to win the Iditarod.

The 40th-annual Iditarod was completed with Seavey’s win Tuesday, March 13, at 7:29 p.m. ADST. He finished in 9 days, 4 hours, 29 minutes and 26 seconds.

Iditarod2In his sixth run to the famed Burled Arch finish line, Dallas competed against 65 registered mushers in this highly contested race. At the halfway point, Dallas and his father, Mitch Seavey, each reached top five positions as they fought to gain momentum. While Mitch fell in and out of the top five during the second half of the race, Dallas continued to gain ground on those ahead, eventually leading the pack out of Shaktoolik. From there, Dallas played a game of cat and mouse with Aliy Zirkle, as they each took turns leading the race. Even as they headed into White Mountain, the last major checkpoint for the final, mandatory 8-hour rest, the race was too close to call.

On the trail, many credited Dallas’ athletic stamina as a key to his success. Having wrestled at an international level just a few years ago, it was clear in this race that Dallas was in peak physical condition, some noting that Dallas was frequently off the sled runners, running on the tough terrain.

Leaving White Mountain on the last leg of the race to Nome, Dallas was not going to give up the lead without a fight. With Aliy Zirkle and Ramey Smyth in hot pursuit, it became a three-way race to the finish.

“I trained hard and had a veteran team that took me to the championship. You need to plan and think like a champion, and you can fulfill your dreams.” Dallas said. “I’d also like to thank my sponsors. I would not be here without them.”

The Keller folks sent along the following stats for the young mushing pro, a third-generation musher (his father, Mitch, won the 2004 Iditarod, among other achievements, and his grandfather, Dan Seavey, helped to found the Iditarod in 1973 — at age 74, Dan is still on the trail, enjoying the ride to Nome as the 2012 “centennial musher” sponsored by the Iditarod Historic Trail Alliance; his 15-year-old grandson, 2012 Junior Iditarod winner Conway Seavey, rode with Dan during the ceremonial start):

• 2005 – Youngest musher to compete in the race — age 18
• 2009 – Youngest musher to finish the race in a top ten position — sixth place, age 22
• 2010 – Youngest musher to win the GCI Dorothy Page Halfway Award — age 23
• 2011 – Youngest musher to finish the race in a top five position — fourth place, age 24
• 2012 – Youngest  musher to win the Iditarod — age 25
• 2012 – Seavey family record finish — 9 days, 4 hours and 29 minutes

Find photos from Dallas’ finish here or on J.J. Keller’s dedicated site.

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