ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Dallas Seavey stated prior to the 2011 Yukon Quest that he was mainly using his rookie run as a conditioning test for his dog team in preparation for the upcoming Iditarod. Consider that mission accomplished. Seavey didn't merely contend, he won the 1,000 mile sled dog race at 11:05 PM on Tuesday night, topping Sebastian Schnuelle by 33 minutes and Ken Anderson by two hours and 31 minutes. Seavey's winning time was 10 days, 11 hours, and 53 minutes.
Seavey, only 23 years old, joins Lance Mackey and Sonny Lindner ( who won the first Yukon Quest in 1984 ), as the only rookies to win the race. He moved up the standings on Monday after leader Hugh Neff struggled on Eagle Summit and was withdrawn from the race. Seavey also benefitted from a 30 minute penalty issued to Anderson for failing to sign out of the Mile 101 dog drop. That penalty meant that instead of leaving Two Rivers 17 minutes behind Anderson, Seavey held a 13 minute lead out of the race's final checkpoint that he would not relinquish over the final 75 miles. While Schnuelle charged hard and passed Anderson en route to second place, Seavey was able to hang on.