As early as the halfway mark of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, 25-year-old Dallas Seavey revealed the plan that would crown him the youngest champion in race history. The blueprint: Throttle his team's speed early, resist the temptation to surge ahead, spring the trap.
Or, as Seavey likes to say, he was creating a monster.
"We built the winning team during the race," Seavey said, crediting the win on the mid-race restraint he showed even as others leaped ahead. "As soon as (other) teams really started coming together, they took off and started racing and tore it all apart."
A third-generation musher who shared the race trail this year with his father and grandfather, Seavey kicked from White Mountain to Nome on Tuesday. A north wind walloped his sled, fanning snow into the Bering Sea as the young musher extended his lead into Safety and pushed ahead for the title.
Seavey finished at 7:29 p.m., an hour ahead of runner-up Aliy Zirkle. His total time for the 975-mile race was 9 days, 4 hours, 29 minutes and 26 seconds.
Under the burled arch, Seavey hinted that his predictions of victory and his regular recitations of his game plan at all points along the trail may have been more for himself than anyone else.