The Idiotarod is a shopping cart race in which teams of five "idiots" tie themselves to a (sometimes modified) grocery store shopping cart and run through the streets of a major metropolitan area. The race usually features people in costumes and themed floats. The races are fun competitions where sabotage, costume, and presentation are rewarded. Sabotage such as tripping competitors, throwing marbles or large obstacles in their paths, and the spreading of misinformation such as false route information are common.
The Idiotarod is named after the Iditarod, a 1,000 mile dog-sledding race in Alaska.
Idiotarods take place in Ann Arbor, Asheville, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Iowa City, New York City, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, Seattle, St. Louis, Toronto, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Washington, D.C. though the original race was founded in San Francisco in 1994 as the "Urban Iditarod".
Portland, Oregon 
The Portland Urban Iditarod, which began in March 2001, runs through a course over four miles through downtown Portland, Oregon. This race occurs on the first Saturday of March, the same date as the actual Alaskan Iditarod. Racers wear "absurd" costumes, including Spanish bullfighters and diaper-wearing astronauts, and make stops at pubs and bars along the way. There are no winners or losers in the Portland event, but other cities offer a "Best in Show" prize.
See also 
- Kinetic sculpture race
- Wife carrying
- Wok racing
- Carts of Darkness, a documentary about shopping cart racing
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