To some observers, it may seem like professional mushing is solely about the purse, a statement that couldn't be further from the truth.
There is inevitably a small number of racers whose primary drive may be monetary gain, but not second-generation Iditarod musher Mitch Seavey.
That's not to say that he wouldn't like to someday be the first one to cross under the burled arch in Nome, but it's more about the experience and all that it symbolizes that keeps him coming back for more.
"It's the epitome of all there is to do," Seavey said. "I love sled dogs, Alaska, and the outdoors."
For a lot of mushers, what they receive financially is often less than or equal to what they put in. Mushing is an expensive sport and expenses for a musher entering a team in the Iditarod can run between $15,000 and $100,000.
"You would be crazy to do this 'just' for the money," Seavey said.
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