Age no limit for Mushers as Oldest winner takes title from last year's Youngest winner in Iditarod Race
"This is for all of the gentlemen of a certain age who think it ends at 50, because it doesn't," 53-year-old Mitch Seavey said late Tuesday after cruising across the finish line almost three hours ahead of his son.
Youthful mushers may have some physical advantages — they can do some things more easily, such as running with their dogs to give them a break, rather than just sitting on the sleds, on their way to the finish line in the old frontier town of Nome.
But dog mushing, in fact, is among the few extreme sports with such a huge age range. That's because experience takes a long time to acquire and, more importantly, because the true super athletes in the game are the dogs— a factor Dallas Seavey is quick to acknowledge.
"The dogs can be enough," he said last year in an Iditarod.com video. "There are certainly mushers that can win the Iditarod and have won the Iditarod and never set foot off the sled. Those are some impressive dog teams."
Older mushers may not have the vigor of their younger counterparts, but they have more experience and more lessons learned from past mistakes, and they often are better prepared to handle things like the numbing sleep deprivation along the trail....