Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Dale Bagley announced last week that he will proclaim April 24th as Mitch Seavey Day on the Kenai Peninsula. "To acknowledge the first Iditarod Champion from the Kenai Peninsula in twenty years, I'm proclaiming April 24th as Mitch Seavey Day and inviting the community to join us for a special celebration that afternoon at the Soldotna Sports Center to honor the 2004 winner of the Last Great Race," said Bagley.
The event is being sponsored jointly by the Soldotna and Kenai Chambers of Commerce and coincides with the annual Peninsula Sport & Rec Show. The only other Peninsula Iditarod Champion Dean Osmar will also be present at the event. Seavey will present a short program on the winning of this year's Iditarod; the fulfilling of a goal and a dream he has had since he began sled dog racing in 1964. "I really feel this is much more than a personal victory for me and our team, I feel it's a victory for all Alaskan mushers and individual families that want to become involved in a traditional way of life," said Seavey.
Immersed in that traditional Alaskan way of life, Mitch and his wife Janine and their four sons reside in Sterling and operate the Ididaride Sled Dog Tours in Seward, which has become a popular tourist attraction.
Last Friday the Seward Sealife Center broke all single day attendance records when the City turned out to welcome the Seavey's home and congratulate them for returning the Championship to Alaska.
The Seavey Racing Team prides itself in their family originated training and racing operation and their state-of-the-art equipment innovations and breeding program. Mitch's father Dan ran in the inaugural Iditarod Race in 1973 and 28 years later, in the 2001 running of the Iditarod, three generations of Seavey's finished the race with father Dan, son Mitch and grandson Danny all finishing the arctic trek to Nome. In a 1996 Seavey Racing Team flyer all three generations of Seavey's pledged themselves to returning the Iditarod Championship to the Kenai Peninsula. On March 16th, 2004 Mitch Seavey fulfilled that family commitment, running his team the 1,100 miles to Nome in 9 days, 12 hours, 20 minutes and 22 seconds. Mitch may be the first Seavey Iditarod champion, but he's not likely to be the last.
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