Tuesday, March 11, 2014

ID: Finish Line Interview

If you are asking the question: "Why did Aliy stop in Safety?" she answers it when Emily Schwing from KUAC in Fairbanks conducted a short interview with her just after she finished the race. The Alaska Dispatch caught it on film. Watch it; bring tissues (click the pic below to watch).

Two of my favourite quotes: I asked them (the team) to go and they said "You're crazy! Okay." and "Sure, yeah, hind-sight, blah blah blah. Second's pretty good".

Listening to this interview will give you an idea how close Aliy came to not being able to continue on the race. Their reaching Safety (literally) was the difference between finishing and not. This entire race has been difficult and Aliy told us she kept in mind since Willow a quote from a movie she and Allen saw: "expect the next day to be harder than the last". This conclusion to the race has proven this to be an appropriate catchphrase for this year's race.

I would also recommend you read Joe Runyan's latest post for the Iditarod website. He says "Although she certainly must question her stop in Safety, I would offer that she did exactly the right thing. Conditions were marginal, and in a dog race, prudence is the code. Her 2nd place finish was a triumph."


Kris said...

So many great quotes in this interview!

Anonymous said...

I saw this video earlier today and wish I had gotten the "bring tissues" warning first. Every piece of news, every single audio interview, all the videos with Aliy continue to strengthen my deep admiration for her as a human being first and then as a musher. Aliy you ARE the champion and should no way doubt your decisions out there at Safety. As Joe Runyun said, your 2nd place finish was a triumph indeed! Congratulations and BIG hugs from your most ardent Seattle fans! Julie, Diane, Tatoosh and Raven

dragonfly domain said...

Joe Runyan is absolutely correct.

Aliy did the PERFECT thing for her and her team... Proud of her. Dallas said that he ran his dogs left the competition aside and just ran her team.

ALIY did the same thing. She did what was best. ran the team the way they needed to be and were safest.

Hard to stay in Safety when all else says you should be going.

Second is amazing. It wasn't a scratch! as Aliy puts it. :)

Melissa Krahmer said...

Such an emotional video to watch. I'm so glad they are all safe. Quito is one in a million! And so is Aliy. I can't imagine the physical and mental strength of this team.

Fred said...

Aliy, Being First is A "State of Mind" and you are ,Great call on Safety I knew you will never put your dogs in Harms' Way. Now lets' get Allen home safe

Anonymous said...

That is an amazing interview. Aliy, you are a class act.

Toni Tadolini said...

Aliy is an awesome competitor and a classy person. So many of us admire her resilience and her good sportsmanship. She and her team gave it their all and we admire her unconditionally!

Jean Battig said...

Aliy I just watched your interview. All I've got to say is, thank god you and the dogs are ok...you're one tough SOB!

Michelle said...

I've already watched this interview twice for the same reason I watch and re-watch Aliy's other videos: she is a genuine person with an insane (and yet totally authentic) ability to remain positive. I look up to her so much! I have learned a lot about the kind of person I want to be in this life just by following Aliy's mushing adventures via this blog and the youtube channel. I couldn't agree with Joe Runyan's statement more; Aliy definitely made the right call to rest for a bit in Safety. Great job, Aliy!! We love you!!

Linda said...

What an amazing woman.A class act in every way! She is truly inspiring.

Sue said...

What an amazing woman you are, Aliy, I'm so proud of you and the dogs....You always put their safety and welfare above and beyond anything else and I admire you, Allen and the entire SPKennel family. Congratulations on making through it to Nome safely. A job well done!!!

Anonymous said...


Don't second guess yourself. You did the right thing. Second place THREE years in a row is an AMAZING accomplishment.

This year, awesome veteran mushers had to scratch. As you said, it was a matter of life or death out there.

I've seen it said on the forums out there that you would never put your dogs knowingly into a dangerous situation. You did what was best for you and the dogs.

I'm proud of you. You are an amazing person and a totally awesome musher. I totally admire you and hope to meet you in person.

Hold your head high. You ran and finished a very difficult Iditarod.

Linda Toth said...

Three second place finishes

1 hour behind D Seavey
36 minutes behind M Seavey
2 minutes, 22 seconds behind D Seavey

Ain't nothin' can stop you now

Quito for Golden Harness

Anonymous said...

Aily did the right thing to pull up in safety. Dallas saw a chance to steal a win when conditions were hazardous and he took it. He was very quick with his "Wasn't that my dad behind me?" comment at the finish line. Practiced. I don't believe his story.

Though I am not a part of the mushing crowd I imagine that there is etiquette regarding what to do when life threatening conditions are present in a race. Dallas knew he was breaking etiquette. Thus "Wasn't that my dad behind me?"

two cents. publish at the will of the moderator.

Linda Toth said...

I watched the video again and couldn't help but notice Mickey and Doug behind her .. Doug looks like he still is not sure she is safe. I am grateful her family (with one on the trail) is there to support her, and her parents are as brave as she - to encourage her and support her to live her life as she has chosen.

Dawn from Maine said...

When it comes right down to it--you did the RIGHT thing Aliy! You're team comes first! You have always admired that about you and Allen and all of SP Kennels. You were SMART to rest in Safety---for your safety! Really!!! Thank you for being smart and wise--cuz I couldn't think if something tragic happened to you and your puppies. Makes me shake! NO TRUCK IS WORTH YOUR LIFE!!! Let go of the what if's cuz I think they probably would have been sad.
Love ALL of you 2-legged and 4-legged!!!!

Lourdes, VT said...

Aliy, you and your dogs ran the most amazing race in the world!!! You set the pace of all the rest of the front runners and, it was pure circumstance that brought you to 'not win the truck'. And you were only 2 minutes from it!!!!
Superb race, superb heart and superb courage.
In my view, you and your team won the 2014 Iditarod.

Mrs. Holmes said...

From Judy in Iowa -- Aliy, I first met you at the Musher's Banquet in 2013 and then again at the Meet and Greet this year at the Clarion. You and your husband are incredible people and dog mushers -- humble, gracious, brave, and inspirational! I have traveled to Alaska from Iowa for the start of the race for three years, and I hope next year I will be able to be in Nome. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I was about to say the same thing as Linda.

Mickey and Doug are some of the nicest people I've met - it is no wonder Aliy has the same character and class. It was nice to see them beeming at each side of Aliy.

I'm so glad Aliy and the dogs are safe and with friends and family and I'm looking forward to Allen coming into Nome to join them.

Thanks for sharing this video.

A-town's Becky said...

It looks like Allen and the Black Team are arriving in Elim, woop, woop.

Linda Toth,
About three 2nd place finishes and time. I don't believe anyone would feel comfortable with Aliy mushing behind them. We all know she is capable of the win. You're right!

Aliy left Safety 19 minutes behind Dallas. 22 miles later, she and the Red Team arrived in Nome just 2 minutes behind Dallas.

When asked, three second places?

"It's better than a scratch"

is my favorite quote.
And, with that in mind...

I will race down this here trail.
I won't raise my arms in surrender.
There will be no white flag upon my sled.
I'm Aliy, and always will be.

Kathee Frings said...

My class and I have been following the race for three years. This year was exciting. I have a special needs class so we teach never give up and overcome.You did all that! and then some! We are all so proud of you. But a student in the class made the cutest comment."Aliy is the best part of a Seavey OREO" Since her favorite part if the middle she knew that was a good thing.

Kathee from Phoenix AZ

Debbie Reumann said...

In May of 2014 a nice couple named Allen and Aliy boarded our Princess Train. I was inspired by the enthusiasm and energy of Aliy, but what motivated me to log onto SP Kennel’s blog spot once home was her Humanitarian Award. Thanks to the great dog log, I have learned a lot and can be added as another big fan.

I would have loved to see Aliy win for Aliy and her team, but Aliys care and love of her dogs, which is very evident in this video, is what will always make her a winner for me. Aliy, trucks are cold steal that rusts and is soon forgotten once gone, what you have with those dogs will be with you forever.

Second is damb good. Aliy, you are awesome!!! Congratulations on a great race.

Anonymous said...

Aily, congratulations to you and your team. You are one tough woman! Thanks.

Kathee Frings said...

My class follows the race every year. I teach a special needs class and we teach not giving up and over coming. You certainly did that this year and then some! Thank you for all your and your dogs hard work. I just had to share the cutest compliments one of my students made "Aliy is the BEST part of a Seavey OREO". Her favorite part is the middle so she knew that was a good thing. Thank you all again.
Kathee from Phoenix

Saoirse said...

Anonymous, re comments on Dallas, I thought he looked like a person who was deeply sleep deprived and almost unable to process the facts. If you look further into other video, it was at least a minute before he even knew he'd won, thinking Jeff and Aliy were ahead of him and his father behind him. I've watched Dallas in other contexts; he is a fierce competitor, but I don't believe he lied. Not the way he wants to win. And, in the history of the Iditarod, there are famous stories of mushers in life threatening conditions. I wanted Aliy to win, and she deserved to win, in every way possible. She is amazing. What Dallas did is amazing, too, though in a different way. This was an unbelievable Iditarod.

Darcy Gillan said...

What a wonderful video! I had my heart in my throat when Aliy talked about the wind pushing her and the team on the ice toward the sea. I know how hard it is to walk on ice, let alone try to drive a team and sled on it. Aliy absolutely did the right thing by stopping in Safety. She and the dogs must have been exhausted. We all are so proud of you and the team, Aliy! Second place is nothing to sneeze at, and you'll get 'em next year!

Claudi said...

Congratulations, Aliy, on an incredible performance in the hardest race in Iditarod history! When I watched the interview I was blown away by your poise after all you've been through. You must have been beyond exhausted.

I read that Dallas said he was aware that all women wanted you to win, plus half of the men. That makes 75% of the entire population, right? There hasn't been a single person I've talked to who wasn't rooting for you.

But first place or second, to us you're a star because of who you are as a person. I think you have the perfect perspective on your second place finish: After going through hell, it's an amazing accomplishment … and way better than scratching!

Will said...

Anonymous, I don't really agree with you about Dallas. He has been a class act as well and complimented Aliy in his interview. He was tired and probably didn't fully process what he saw in the sign-in book. Most likely he really believed he was racing his dad for third.

Dallas took a chance and it paid off. It could have gone the other way. Both he and Aliy are excellent mushers.

Heidi Phillips said...

I saw Aliy's interview and have to say "You Go Girl" Watching the insider and the FANTASTIC updates and insight from the SP Kennel Family we got a snippet of what Aliy was going through. Congrats on Second place Aliy!!! the one thing I would like to say and everyone else has been saying it for so long is that you DO take care of your dogs and the dogs know that you do. Therefore what do you get in return? Respect,Trust, Hard Work, Dedication, and Love!! What else could you ask for?
Bless you Aliy! I am glad that you and your 16 team mates are safe and doing well...

Anonymous said...

AMAZING! Love her attitude of Gratitude! a hero to her family, doggies and the rest of us. Thank You SP Kennel Teams and handlers. Aliy did Great! you broke many records this yr.
You and Quito are both front runners, GIRLS ROCK!
Padee Santa Rosa, CA

HGR693 said...

You are certainly one with your PACK!! Awesome job!!!

Teresa said...

I was scared for you and the dogs as I watched the tracker(s) and heard the reports coming in so I can't imagine how you felt. And am having a hard time comprehending the extraordinary amount of strength it took you to not become paralyzed on the trail before Safety, and then again to leave Safety. You are so amazing, so inspirational.

Tiffany Borges said...

Aliy Zirkle, you are a gladiator and a perfect lady. We couldn't love you more if the trail were butter and you'd come in first. Always looking forward to the Clarion reception and your kindness to our kids & all fans. Rest well, you've earned it! Thank you for all the inspiration and the way you represent Alaska.

Anonymous said...

As some have commented before me, a truck is not worth the safety of you and your team. I bought a raffle ticket and if I were to win a truck, I would be more that happy to donate it to SP Kennel. Stay tuned!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful job, I loved your comment about 3 2nd places is better than scratching. Way to fight till the end. You deserve a round of applause.

Tough Teachers said...

Teachers from The Woodlands, Texas would like to thank you for the amazing lesson we are going to be able teach our students because of you. You put the safety of yourself and your dogs first. What a lesson in integrity and perseverance! You don't have to be in first place to be a winner!

marilyn cozzens said...

Aliy what an amazing musher you are! You always put the dogs first & you and the dogs have a very strong and wonderful bond. Stopping in Safety was the correct call. You & team were faster from Safety to Nome. You have the respect and love of all your fans. And you deserve it!

tonia said...

Wow! Red team, dogs and Aliy, we are so impressed by your strength and good judgment (in the face of exhaustion) and your ability to finish on Dallas' heels. The 2014 Iditarod raised you to the highest possible level of achievement.
Thankfully, all of you are safe and OK.
"...Win or lose, it's how you run the race that counts..." You ran a great race...really impressive!

Herb, Tonia, Mia, and Sascha

Anonymous said...

Wow!!! You are one truly amazing person, Aily!!! My friends have followed you for years and I just got interested in the race this yar from hearing all the inspiring stories they have shared about their experiences knowing and following you (and Allen). These past couple years have been the hardest personally for me in my life. To watch someone (you) as both determined and incredibly strong yet amazingly humble, caring and sensitive has just been so genuinely powerful for me!! To be able to retain and embody both sides of that are truly inspiring to witness!!! Your love for your dogs, your passion and your heart are just beautiful!! Thank you for all that you are and all that you do!! You are and always will be the most incredible kind of "winner" there is to me - - you embody HEART!!! Thank you!

stormy said...

Aliy,you are pure 'class'.Good humour,grace and fortitude are your hallmarks.I so tip my hat to You,Allen,your Dogs and entire Team!You all inspire me!!Thank you!

Anonymous said...

What is left to say?

A class act. Nope, that's been said.

Role model for women? Said over and over.

To me Aliy uses her brains to serve the purpose of making SP Kennel the very best place for 2-legged, 4-legged, staff, website visitors to come to.

Thanks so much for sharing.