Iditarod winner is oldest, fastest in dog sled race history

(Reuters) - Mitch Seavey won the 2017 Iditarod dog sled race on Tuesday, beating his son and crossing the finish line in Nome in record time as he also set the mark as the oldest musher to claim the championship.

Seavey, 57, broke the previous record time for the nearly 1,000-mile (1,600-km) race across the Alaskan wilderness by nearly eight hours, the Alaska Dispatch News reported on its website.

"Huge congrats to Mitch Seavey on his record-breaking win!" U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski said on Twitter.

As of Tuesday afternoon Seavey's son, Dallas, the defending champion, was in second place but had not crossed the finish line.

The event billed as "the Last Great Race" began on March 6 in Fairbanks, 350 miles (560 km) north of Anchorage. The race is a tribute to a life line of mushers and dogs who carried essential supplies to remote outposts in the early days of Alaska's non-aboriginal settlement.

The field included 55 veterans and 17 rookies, including five former Iditarod champions.

Dallas Seavey, a four-time Iditarod winner, set a race record last year with his time of eight days, 11 hours, 20 minutes and 16 seconds.

(This version of the story corrects the name of newspaper in second paragraph.)

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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