In the latter stages of the race it became clear that Dallas had the strongest team of dogs out on the course. As his closest competitors slowed down as the neared the later checkpoints along the route, Seavey only seemed to get stronger. Over the last few stages he was breaking trail on fresh snow, but only widened his lead over those who were chasing him. In the ends, he crossed the finish line well ahead of the next closest musher.
As the race continues today, the battle will now be for second place. Dallas' father Mitch is currently holding that position, having left the White Mountain checkpoint just 34 minutes ahead of third place musher Aaron Burmeister. Jessie Royer and Aliy Zirkle are also out of White Mountain, and are currently holding down the fourth and fifth spots respectively. Unless something radical changes while they race today, that is likely to be their order of finish.
For Dallas Seavey winning another Idiatrod puts him in rare company. Even his dad has just two wins in the race. Winning three times before the age of 30 puts Dallas in a position to set the bar very high for his career, perhaps even surpassing the record five victories of Rick Swenson. For claiming victory this morning, he was handed a check for $70,000 and the keys to a new pick-up truck as well. Not a bad prize for a little more than a week's work.
While the winner of the race has been crowned, there is still a lot of racing to be done in this year's event. The next group of mushers will continue to trickle across the finish line throughout the day, but it will take several days for the race to wrap up, with competitors likely arriving well into the weekend. The final person to cross the finish line will receive the traditional red lantern that comes along with holding that position.
Congratulations to Dallas on another impressive win, and good luck to all of the mushers still out on the course. Get home safely.