It sounds like a movie script, really. Three generations of a family compete together in their sport's ultimate event. The son wins, his father finishes in the top 10 and the grandfather sticks with the effort, even though he may be at the bottom of the standings.
But that's not Hollywood fiction: That's the story of the Seavey family at the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race this year.
And there is a connection to the Upper Peninsula in this amazing tale as well.
The son, Dallas Seavey, became the youngest Iditarod champion in history in winning the race Tuesday night. He turned 25 on March 4, the day the 975-mile race started.
Dallas Seavey, as a teen, was a resident-athlete at Northern Michigan University's United States Olympic Education Center in Marquette. He competed in the Greco-Roman wrestling program.
Dallas now lives in Willow, Alaska, and with his wife, Jennifer, operates Wild Ride Sled Dog Rodeo in Anchorage. One of his sponsors in the Iditarod is Dr. Tim's Pet Food, the business owned and operated by local veterinarian Tim Hunt.
Mitch Seavey, Dallas's father, won the 2004 Iditarod and finished seventh in this year's race. And Dan Seavey, Dallas's grandfather, was still on the trail as of this morning, determined to make his way to the finish line in Nome. Dan Seavey was a participant in the first Iditarod race 40 years ago and was the Seavey who started it all.
Also of note: Conway Seavey, Dallas's 15-year-old brother, won the Junior Iditarod in late February.
Another U.P. connection is the great job done by McMillan musher Ed Stielstra, who crossed the Iditarod finish line at 4 p.m. EDT Thursday, finishing in 25th place.
With the U.P. 200 Sled Dog Race an important fixture in this community, the Iditarod has become an event of particular interest to Mining Journal readers.
This year's race marked the 100th anniversary of the Iditarod Trail, which was designated by Congress as a National Historical Trail in 1978, and it could not have played out more magnificently.
Congratulations to the Seavey family on an inspiring effort. We can't wait to see what you all do next year.
The Mining Journal