From mushing to Mount Marathon: The Seavey family rivalry
Any time the Seavey family gathers, it somehow turns into a competition. They’re known for mushing, but this weekend, their focus is on Mount Marathon — and the youngest brother has been scheming for months.
“I have a plan to take Dallas out of the race. He should recover from it within a few months. Just don’t tell him ’cause I’m bad at booby traps and he might notice before he falls into it.”
Conway Seavey is a two-time Junior Iditarod winner. He retired at the tender age of 18 to pursue a music career. This summer, he’s touring the state with his band, the Conway Seavey Band. The group is so busy, the only time they had to meet with us was at midnight on a Thursday in a pullout on the Turnagain Arm, while on their way up to Fairbanks. They have more than 50 gigs this summer, yet Conway packed in time to come up with a ploy to beat Dallas.
“It involves digging a hole and covering it up with branches and then luring him,” he said.
Conway, of course, is joking. At least, I’m 90 percent sure he’s joking. You see, this isn’t the first time the two have met on Mount Marathon.
Last year, they were in two different waves. Dallas ran in the first and Conway was in the second, five minutes later. As Dallas sprinted down Fifth Avenue toward the finish line, he looked over his shoulder. He crossed the finish line first, but Conway wasn’t far behind: the two finished just 47 seconds apart.
“He wins a lot of things,” Conway said. “So he acted like he expected to win which was like, you could have done me the service of, ‘Oh I beat you. I’m so surprised.'”
Older brother Dallas brushes off Conway’s scheme with a shrug and a laugh. The four-time Iditarod winner is used to the bravado that comes with competition. However, he does promise to return the favor when the two cross the finish line.
“You know my little brother can be mouthy, which he probably gets it from me. So if he talks a lot of smack before the race he’ll hear about it afterwards,” Dallas said.
Above all the trash talking is a third Seavey. Tucked away on her quiet Seward homestead, she’s happy watering her garden and feeding the chickens. In fact, she hates attention.
“I don’t do that either,” Tekla Seavey said, laughing as she checked on her rows of sweet peas. “I’m accused of being too modest.”
Tekla is married to the third Seavey brother, Tyrell, and she won’t tell you she’s placed as high as eighth on Mount Marathon. Last year, she trained harder than ever before, with a goal of breaking the hour mark. However, something unexpected happened before the race.
“It was hard, it was harder than I expected it to be. That spring — April and May — I felt super ready until June came around I was like, ‘Oh, it’s not going to happen this year,'” she said.
Tekla finished just 13 seconds behind the boys. The two were proud of themselves until they found out she was pregnant — four months pregnant.
“Well, we weren’t gonna mention that!” laughed Dallas.
This year, there will be one less Seavey on the mountain. Four-month-old Tazlin Seavey will watch the race from the comfort of her dad’s arms while the three Seaveys play out another Fourth of July drama.
This year, Dallas has been training for road races. Tekla’s spent her time hiking with Tazlin, which she doesn’t call training. Meanwhile, Conway has yet to step foot on any mountain.
“My training has consisted of not training this year,” Conway said. “My plan this year is the less I train the more energy I’ll have for the race.”
When asked to bet on who would be this year’s Seavey champion, last year’s winner didn’t skip a beat.
“My money’s on Tekla.”
KTVA will have complete LIVE coverage of the men’s and women’s Mount Marathon races on Monday, July 4 beginning at 10:30 a.m. Watch the coverage on KTVA 11, GCI Channel 1 and streaming online at KTVA.com/stream.
The post From mushing to Mount Marathon: The Seavey family rivalry appeared first on KTVA 11.