Despite Moose Encounter, Penalty, Tragedy, Dallas Seavey Wins Record Sixth Iditarod

Former ASJ cover story subject Dallas Seavey’s record sixth Iditarod title, arriving in Nome in the early evening last night. Here’s more from Alaska’s News Source:

Seavey clocked in with a race-winning time of 9 days, 2 hours, 16 minutes, and 8 seconds.

“This one was supposed to be hard,” Seavey told Iditarod announcer Greg Heister shortly after crossing the finish line. “It had to be special, it had to be more than a normal Iditarod — and it was.”

The 37-year-old musher ran a calculated race that included a two-hour penalty after an encounter with a moose in the first 24 hours. Seavey was forced to shoot and kill the moose after it began attacking his team, forcing him to gut the animal as race rules dictate.

Seavey was deemed to have not properly gutted the moose per race rules, but he still won despite the two-hour penalty. Seavey, who previously was exonerated after being accused of doping his dogs, had his title marred by three dog deaths on the Iditarod course this year besides one canine member of his team that was injured in the moose incident. The Associated Press has more on the fatalities:

But the deaths of the dogs on three separate teams, two led by rookie mushers and a third in his second Iditarod, cast a pall over the race as the Iditarod ended a five-year streak without a dog death. Five dogs also died and eight were injured in collisions with snow machines during training before the race on shared-use trails.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the loudest critic of the Iditarod, called for officials to end the contest once and for all.

“The Iditarod is the shame of Alaska,” PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said in a statement. “How many more dogs need to die before this stops? Dogs’ lives are worth more than this.”