Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Postscript: Seattle Idiotarod

Seattlest made mention on Thursday of the Seattle Idiotarod. As soon as the concept was read, I knew I'd be in attendance. Ultimately, while it was too late to participate this year, I'm already starting to think about next year. Who wants to be on Team Ninja?

The details of where the race would occur weren't available on the race website, so it took a bit of frantic emails to get that information. Coupled with the late start that morning, and I was convinced that there would be no way to find the actual race, despite the spectacle of a bunch of people with shopping carts. As it turns out, while driving down Leary, I ran into the racers at the second checkpoint.

The scene had only the loosest semblance of order, with people in costumes ambling about, beer in hand. Each team was required to take a twenty minute break, although there were games to be played that could reduce that wait time (namely dropping darts from your ass into a pitcher). Carts also had to remain on guard, as the potential for sabotage was high, with some teams all too willing to chain other carts to fixed structures.

At this point it's safe to say that teams were into the event. Considering the work many of them put into their costumes and carts, I should hope so. One team was dressed as pirates, their cart rigged with "working" sails. Another team replaced the standard wheels with bike tires, before attaching that to a bicycle, making a shopping cart rickshaw.

The teams themselves were just as creative. In addition to the pirates, there was a team based on the website (called the Burninators, naturally). Another team wore diapers, and used that as the theme for their sabotage, diapers filled with chocolate pudding. My favorite were the Freedom Food Fighters, who chose to dress as all French food items (two fries, a slice of Brie, a bunch of grapes, and a jar of olives). Their costumes alone made the event wonderfully surreal, as noted by the looks on the faces of people that passed by.

The race concluded at the Ballard Locks before the group headed to the Sloop for (more, unneeded) drinks. While waiting for the results, there was cart jousting to keep everyone busy, and an "oh man, that's such a bad idea" case of cart jumping. The winners were announced in a variety of categories, but this competition wasn't dominated by that. First and foremost was the desire to have a good time, and considering the number of people intoxicated by two in the afternoon, it's safe to say that mission was accomplished.

Time to go work up a preliminary cart design for next year. If you see me doing speed runs inside Safeway, you'll know what's going on.

Here are the
pics. And some more.


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