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2004 Iditarod champion withdrawn after severely injuring hand

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Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2011 3:32 pm | Updated: 1:48 pm, Wed Dec 26, 2012.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Mitch Seavey, the 2004 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race champion, was withdrawn Thursday from this year's race because of a severe hand injury.

Race marshal Mark Nordman decided not to allow Seavey to continue because of the injury to one or more fingers. Seavey injured his hand while cutting open a bale of straw. The mishap occurred at the Ophir checkpoint, 444 miles from Anchorage.

Seavey was flown to the checkpoint in McGrath, said race spokesman Chas St. George.

From there, the plan was to fly him to Anchorage where he was to be seen by a doctor.

"The race marshal told him, 'I am going to withdraw you.' He has accepted that," St. George said. "It was a terrible way for him to have to leave this race."

The 51-year-old musher said at the start of the race that it was important he get another Iditarod win. He said his team was highly conditioned, with twice as many pre-race training miles than his winning 2004 team. His dogs were capable of reaching Nome ahead of defending champion Lance Mackey - with four consecutive wins under his belt - or any of the other previous champions in the race, Seavey said.

"I have a dog team that I think can do anything I ask them to do," he told The Associated Press on Saturday at the ceremonial start in Anchorage.

Seavey has competed in every Iditarod since 1995, earning more than $455,000 in prize money. He finished 10th last year.

His son, Dallas, remains in the race. The younger Seavey is coming off a victory as a rookie in the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race. He was in 14th place in the Iditarod early Thursday.

Seavey comes from a prominent Alaska mushing family. His father, Dan Seavey, was one of three people who helped plan the first Iditarod in 1973.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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2014 Iditarod Start Order

Bib No. 1 is honorary

2) Curt Perano, Central Otago, New Zealand

3) Paige Drobny, Fairbanks, Alaska

4) Gus Guenther, Clam Gulch, Alaska

5) Dan Kaduce, Chatanika, Alaska

6) Mitch Seavey, Seward, Alaska

7) Michael Williams, Jr., Akiak, Alaska

8) Yvonne DabAlaskak, Oslo, Norway

9) Newton Marshall, St. Anne, Jamaica

10) Aliy Zirkle, Two Rivers, Alaska

11) Richie Diehl, Aniak, Alaska

12) Tommy Jordbrudal, Longyearbyen, Norway

13) Kelly Maixner, Big Lake, Alaska

14) Dallas Seavey, Willow, Alaska

15) Michelle Phillips, Tagish, Yukon, Canada

16) DeeDee Jonrowe, Willow, Alaska

17) Jeff King, Denali, Alaska

18) Monica Zappa, Kasilof, Alaska

19) Allen Moore, Two Rivers, Alaska

20) Scott Janssen, Anchorage, Alaska

21) Christian Turner, Karratha, WA, Australia

22) Robert Sorlie, Hurdal, Norway

23) Aaron Burmeister, Nome, Alaska

24) Ellen Halverson, Wasilla, Alaska

25) Nathan Schroeder, Chisholm, MN

26) Charley Bejna, Addison, IL

27) Jessie Royer, Darby, MT

28) Cim Smyth, Big Lake, Alaska

29) Nicolas Petit, Girdwood, Alaska

30) Rick Casillo, Willow, Alaska

31) Lev Shvarts, Willow, Alaska

32) Linwood Fiedler, Willow, Alaska

33) Karin Hendrickson, Wasilla, Alaska

34) Justin Savidis, Willow, Alaska

35) Paul Gebhardt, Kasilof, Alaska

36) Martin Buser, Big Lake, Alaska

37) Jake Berkowitz, Big Lake, Alaska

38) Jim Lanier, Chugiak, Alaska

39) Jason Mackey, Wasilla, Alaska

40) Jan Steves, Edmonds, WA

41) Lisbet Norris, Willow, Alaska

42) Cindy Gallea, Wykoff, MN

43) Peter Kaiser, Bethel, Alaska

44) Mats Pettersson, Kiruna, Sweden

45) John Dixon, Fairbanks, Alaska

46) Cindy Abbott, Irvine, CA

47) Joar Leifseth Ulsom, Mo i Rana, Norway

48) Travis Beals, Seward, Alaska

49) Ramey Smyth, Willow, Alaska

50) Marcelle Fressineau, Whitehorse, YT, Canada

51) Ray Redington, Jr., Wasilla, Alaska

52) Anna Berington, Kasilof, Alaska

53) John BAlaskaer, Kotzebue, Alaska

54) Ralph Johannessen, Dagali, Norway

55) Elliot Anderson, Big Lake, Alaska

56) Kristy Berington, Kasilof, Alaska

57) Matt Failor, Willow, Alaska

58) Hans Gatt, Whitehorse, YT, Canada

59) Karen Ramstead, Perryvale, AB, Canada

60) Alex Buetow, Fairbanks, Alaska

61) Hugh Neff, Tok, Alaska

62) Danny Seavey, Seward, Alaska

63) Katherine Keith, Kotzebue, Alaska

64) Robert Bundtzen, Anchorage, Alaska

65) Ken Anderson, Fairbanks, Alaska

66) Mike Ellis, Two Rivers, Alaska

67) Wade Marrs, Wasilla, Alaska

68) Mike Santos, Cantwell, Alaska

69) Abbie West, Two Rivers, Alaska

70) Sonny Lindner, Two Rivers, Alaska

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