53-year-old musher becomes oldest Iditarod champ

NOME, Alaska (AP) -- A 53-year-old former champion has won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race to become the oldest winner of Alaska's grueling test of endurance.

Mitch Seavey and 10 dogs crossed the Nome finish line to cheering crowds at 10:39 p.m. Alaska time Tuesday.

His victory in the 1,000-mile race came after a dueling sprint against Aliy Zirkle, last year's runner-up, along the Bering Sea coast. The pair jostled for the lead, closely followed by four-time champion Jeff King.

Seavey, who first won the Iditarod in 2004, is the father of last year's champion, Dallas Seavey, who at age 25 became the youngest Iditarod winner ever, beating Zirkle to the finish line by one hour.

Before Mitch Seavey's second win, King was the oldest Iditarod champion, winning his fourth race at age 50 in 2006.

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