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Iditaknow People Could Be So Ridiculous

By Alicia Dorr in News on Feb 28, 2006 4:30PM

take5.jpgFor generations, Alaskans have taken on one of Mother Nature's harshest climates in the Iditarod, a dog sled race that tests the integrity and endurance of the riders to their core.

For some time city dwellers across the nation have honored that tradition with the "urban Iditarod"—which entails dressing up in bizarre homemade costumes and pushing around shopping carts for charity. And Chicagoans sure aren't too hoity-toity to jump on that kind of bandwagon.

March 4th, Chicago will hold the first Chiditarod, an idea borrowed from San Francisco, Portland and New York. Basically, a bunch of 5-member teams will pick themes—like this robot guy in NY's "Idiotarod" (we didn't name it)—substituting dogs with humans and sleds with shopping carts (don't tell Jewel). Then there's a race with cash prizes and a food collection benefiting the Chicago Anti-Hunger Association.

Photos from all the inspiration cities make it look so silly that it encourages at least pulling up a lawn chair on the sidelines, but it's the quote on Portland's website that gives it the most appeal: "There are no winner [sic], there are no losers, there are just a bunch of belligerent people." Nice.

Photo courtesy Portland Urban Iditarod