Tuesday, March 13, 2012

History Rewritten

Around 6pm Alaska time, Dallas Seavey will pull into Nome's Front Street and aim his dogs to pass under the famous Iditarod Burled Arch. He will be be the youngest musher to win, beating Rick Swenson's long standing record, at just age 25.

Seavey has worked for this achievement over the last four years. He's built his kennel, trained his dogs, and worked his strategy for this moment. Whenever tourists asked what his goals were, one of them was to win the Iditarod before age 26. He had a record to beat. This was his year. Just like Lance Mackey in 2007 took his bib number, lucky #13, and said it was a sign that it was his year, Dallas knew this was his. After Mackey's win in 07, folks began saying 13 was a lucky number for Iditarod (Mackey's brother and father won their Iditarod titles with the bib #13). Today is the 13th of March.

Considering Mackey's declaration that he wanted anyone but Dallas Seavey to win due to his feeling that Seavey was cocky and obnoxious, well, one can't help but enjoy the irony.

Dallas will be pulling into Safety in just a few minutes it looks like. Safety is the last checkpoint to Nome. This is where he will don his bib - #34 - and snack his dogs. He will be congratulated, and it's a mere 22 miles more to go. Bells will begin ringing - large bells - church bells - and he will have the first of many moments. He could stop on the trail between there and the finish. Mackey did one year to congratulate his team before the craziness of the finish chute. He may snack his dogs. But he'll be headed to Nome. He'll be headed to family.

Meeting him in Nome will be his paternal grandmother, mother, brothers. More importantly his wife and daughter will be there. They knew he was going to win this year. Jen bought tickets well ahead of time, Annie was already celebrating daddy's new truck. Missing from the celebration: two men still on the trail beaming with pride. Mitch, Dallas's father, has been at that moment. He won in 2004. He was welcomed by his father, Dan, who is at the back of the race pack also missing his grandson's moment. They've been interviewed, they know that this is Dallas' moment. They want to be there, they're torn, they have a job to do, too. But, they get bragging rights none the less.

So an early Congratulations, Dallas! We're all sitting in front of TV and computer screens waiting to watch you finish!

No comments:

Post a Comment