Dallas Seavey leaves Skwentna, mushing for his bid to make Iditarod history


Update, 9 p.m. Sunday:

Dallas Seavey pulled into Skwentna at 12:44 p.m. Sunday, eight hours and 67 miles away from what would be a record-tying fifth Iditarod championship.

Aaron Burmeister, his nearest pursuer, arrived 61 minutes later.

Mushers must take a mandatory eight-hour layover at Skwentna before making the final 67-mile push to the Deshka Landing finish line. Seavey left at 8:44 p.m. and Burmeister departed at 9:45 p.m.

Seavey seized command on his 40-mile run from Finger Lake to Skwentna on Sunday morning. Seavey left Finger Lake at 7:03 a.m., 15 minutes ahead of Burmeister. He made the trip 46 minutes faster than Burmeister.

If he holds onto his lead, Seavey will become the second five-time winner in race history, matching the record held by Rick Swenson since 1991.

On the outbound trip from Deshka Landing to Skwentna last Sunday, Seavey made the run in about seven hours. A similar time on tonight’s inbound run would put him at the finish line around 4 a.m. Monday.

Original story:

Dallas Seavey left the Finger Lake checkpoint Sunday morning with a 15-minute lead over Aaron Burmeister and 107 miles to go in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Seavey, a four-time champion from Talkeetna, is seeking to tie Rick Swenson as the race’s winningest musher. Burmeister, who was born and raised in Nome, is chasing his first title.

Seavey left Finger Lake at 7:03 a.m. behind a team of 10 dogs. Burmeister left at 7:18 a.m. with 13 dogs.

In third place was Eureka’s Brent Sass, who fell off the pace a bit early Sunday and blew through Finger Lake at 9:27 a.m. with 13 dogs.

Seavey traveled at slightly faster pace than Burmeister over the 65 miles between Rohn and Finger Lake.

He made the 35-mile Rohn-to-Rainy Pass run in 4 hours, 28 minutes on Saturday night and reached the Rainy Pass checkpoint at 10:05 p.m. He stayed four hours and left at 3:04 a.m. Sunday.


Burmeister made the run in 4:46. He got there at at 1:11 a.m. Sunday, stayed 14 minutes and was gone at 1:24, some 90 minutes ahead of Seavey.

From Rainy Pass to Finger Lake, Seavey covered 30 miles in 3:54. Burmeister did it in 4:48.

That put Seavey in Finger Lake at 6:58 a.m. Sunday, followed by Burmeister at 7:13 a.m.

Both men spent five minutes there.

From Finger Lake, it’s 40 miles to Skwentna, which is the new White Mountain in this year’s out-and-back Iditarod. All mushers will take an eight-hour layover there before making the final 67-mile push to the Deshka Landing finish line.

A winner is expected sometime between 4-6 a.m.. On the north-bound trip, top racers made the run from Finger Lake to Skwentna in about fours and did the Skwentna to Deshka Landing run in about seven hours.

The race, which started last Sunday in Deshka Landing, is 832 miles long.