“Age, by itself, is not a reason to not succeed.”
– Mitch Seavey
Mitch Seavey is a 3-time winner of the Iditarod, a sled dog race from a ceremonial start in Anchorage to Nome, Alaska that’s been called the “Last Great Race on Earth”. Teams often run the 1000-mile race through blizzards causing whiteout conditions and confront sub-zero temperatures and winds that can cause the wind chill to reach -100 degrees.
In 2017, at 57, Seavey won the race as the oldest winner ever in a record time of just over 8 days. He competed in his first Iditarod in 1982 at the age of 22 and has run every Iditarod since 1995, racking up more than 15 top-10 finishes.
As the son of one of the race’s original founders, Mitch and his son Dallas, a 4-time winner in his own right and the youngest winner ever, in 2015 became the first father and son duo in Iditarod history to claim the top two finishing positions of the race.
Mitch's ability to keep competing at the highest levels of his sport against competitors more than half his age through continuous innovation, curiosity, and adaptation, a deep love and admiration for his dogs, and the enthusiasm and determination to not easily give in to Father Time is an inspiration. Enjoy!
Want to hear another episode from world-class masters endurance athlete? Check out this episode with the inspiring Wally Hesseltine, a 70+ year-old ultra-marathon runner who talks about the importance of consistency, grit, and simplicity.
QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Would you like a transcript of this episode? Who else would you like to see appear on the show? Please let me know in the comments!
Scroll below for links and show notes…
SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE
Learn more about Mitch Seavey
- More on Mitch Seavey's background and accomplishments from Wikipedia
- Oldest Champion In History, Mitch Seavey, Could Win The 1,000-Mile Race (Newsweek, March 2019)
- Mitch's book Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way! Unconventional Sled Dog Secrets of an Alaskan Iditarod Champion (Amazon)
- Preparation for the Iditarod [3:45]
- Biggest challenges in the race and how to overcome them [5:55]
- How Mitch's self-care helps his dogs perform [9:25]
- Toughest moment in the Iditarod [12:10]
- How lessons learned in the Iditarod apply to other aspects of life [17:25]
- Creativity and the quest to break the 8-day barrier [21:30]
- How Mitch's dad has influenced and inspired his career [29:05]
- How much longer can Mitch compete at a high level? [31:38]
- What would you have wanted your 22 year-old self to know? [39:45]
- Competing vs. committing to win [43:10]
- Building the perfect Iditarod competitor [44:45]
- Who does Mitch look to for inspiration and tips on enhancing performance? [48:10]
- Advice for people for 50+ year-olds [54:00]
- Final thoughts and where to find out more about Mitch [57:10]