Wow, what a night this has been. Dallas Seavey crossed the finish line in Nome 2 minutes ahead of Aliy Zirkle at 4.04 a.m. And that after leaving White Mountain in 3rd place 2 hrs and 46 minute behind the at the time race leader, Jeff King. Dallas finished in a record time of 8 days, 13 hours, 4 seconds, and 19 Minutes!
Mother Nature threw a curveball during the last 77 mile run to Nome. While the conditions in the Topkok Hills were windy and icy, as such the run was a pleasant one for the mushers. They made good time. Past the shelter cabin at the bottom of Topkok things began to change, first only the wind picking up, with not much snow to blow around, but then the closer the teams came to Safety, the more snow was blowing around and the more the windspeed picked up.
When Dallas crossed the finish line, he appeared surprised to actually win. I overheard him say that he thought he was racing his dad for 3rd place. Only once in the finish he realized what was happening. Upon arrival he was exhausted and needed to catch his breath for a few minutes, that is how hard he worked. A mere 2 minutes later Aliy Zirkle pulled into the finish chute, both teams parking side by side. The finish chute was a busy place with handlers of both teams who made sure the dogs got nice, meaty snacks. The fans had 2 mushers to cheer on! This finish, matter of fact this whole crazy race, will be long remembered for its adverse conditions. While the whole trip had been difficult, Aliy mentioned that this last run was the most demanding of all of the runs with the intense winds.
And this race is far from over for many mushers still battling the harsh conditions.
Below a few pictures from tonight. Enjoy!
Dallas happy to be off the trail