Yesterday afternoon, the city of Nome, Alaska, witnessed the end of the 2014 edition of the Iditarod, one of the most dangerous and intense sled dog races. The winner was American dog musher Dallas Seavey, who broke the record obtained by John Baker, winner of the 2011 competition. Seavey and his dogs crossed the finish line at 4:04 a.m, completing the 1,000-mile race in 8 days, 13 hours, 4 minutes, 19 seconds, only 2 minutes and 22 seconds before Aliy Zirkle. A little bit more than 3 minutes after Dallas, his father, Mitch Seavey, won the third position. This year, Dallas outdid his own record, which he achieved when he won in 2012. He become the youngest musher to win the Iditarod when he traveled from Willow to Nome in 9 days, 4 hours, 29 minutes and 26 seconds. He is one of the four mushers to ever win two of the toughest competitions on Earth: the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod. Born on March 4th, 1987, Dallas comes from an Alaskan musher family. The Seaveys have been related to Alaska's most important event since its inception. Dan Seavey, Dallas' grandfather, competed in the first Iditarod race in 1973 as well as in 1974, 1997 and 2012. Mitch Seavey, won the race in 2006 and 2013 at age 53, setting another mark, as he became the oldest champion.
Mushing is a team sport where man and dog put all their strength and skills together at work. It is one of the most ancient collaborative efforts in human history and a marvelous example of discipline, team spirit, endurance, and mutual respect. Sled dogs were the first working dogs in history. They helped ancient civilizations to survive. Today, they aid modern societies to access places that are impossible to reach by other means. The Iditarod is a legacy that reminds us of the importance of this wonderful activity. Although it has now turned into Alaska's official sport, it was crucial in the development of the economy and population of this region since the time of the gold rush. Mushing provides clear evidence of the fact that when men love, respect, and take care of themselves as well as other creatures on Earth, there is nothing, not even the toughest, most hostile of environments, that can stop the development and progress of humanity.