Not to be confused with the similarly named event featuring our four-legged friends, the Idiotarod features humans doing what we do best — acting like idiots in public. The grueling team event features groups of five “idiots” showcasing their combined nerve and stupidity by barreling through city streets while piled on top of shopping carts. Sound fun? That’s because it kind of is.
The teams are encouraged to deck out the carts in modifications that’ll make them more aerodynamic, as well as make them stand out from the crowd. They also have a penchant for dressing themselves up in garish, over-the-top outfits that occasionally spark joy and revulsion. Unlike most sporting events, competitors in Idiotarod races are actually encouraged to cheat. The focus of the event is seemingly to entertain the crowd more than it is to actually win, so don’t be surprised to see carts bumping into each other. Some of them even employ marbles to throw the other carts off course, or attempt to sabotage with other obstacles.
While Idiotarod races are held throughout the country, and even the world, the largest ones tend to take place in New York City. The races actually courted controversy in recent years after the organizers of the official Iditarod dog races filed suit to stop them from using the name. As you can probably imagine, the racers just found creative ways around that.
While the Idiotarod is living up to its name, it’s also a fun spectacle that’s a joy to see. Next time you’re in NYC, be sure to look one up.
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