Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Where did you get the idea for this event?
In 2006 we borrowed it from some people in New York who had been doing it since 2003. They stole it from a group of people in San Francisco who have been doing it since 1994. Some call us the CHIditarod, or Chicago’s Urban Shopping Cart Race.
Why are you doing this?
We’re probably the world’s largest mobile food drive. Helping others and building community is sexy. And it’s important to fight cold and kill boredom. After all, it’s March in Chicago. Plus it will be absurdly fun. Seriously, we do this for charity. See our food and fundraising impact since our inception.
How long is the race?
Somewhere between 4 and 5 miles total, with the average leg between checkpoints being around 0.7 miles. You get 25 minutes to rest at each checkpoint – depending on what you find at each checkpoint, that is.
Where can I get more information?
Sign up for CHIditarod news. Join the announcement list, like our Mushbook (facebook) and follow us on ChiTwitterod (twitter). There will also be an extremely detailed email a week before the event that is sent to all registered participants.
Where can I learn more about the Iditarod®?
You should visit the Iditarod® website. CHIditarod is not affiliated with the Iditarod Trail Committee or the Iditarod® race in Alaska.
Will there be an after-party?
Of course! It’s located at the finish line. Starting new this year, the finish line will be separate from the awards ceremony. More details to come. There will be an awards ceremony, trophies and prizes for the winners. Learn More.
I just want to watch. Can I do that?
Yes, you can. Here’s where you should go. Bring a couple cans of food for the food drive!!
This sounds funny. Can I bring my camera and document it?
Yes, but it would be cooler if you raced AND filmed at the same time, yeah? We think you’ll have more fun. But yeah, you can come cheer on the teams at the starting line or at any of the checkpoints. Feel free to bring your camera and document the race. Then send us a copy of the footage and post it on our Facebook page!
Do you need any help organizing this?
Totally. If you want to be involved with the project but can’t run for some reason — like you just had ACL surgery and are still hobbling around on crutches — we could use you as a volunteer. We also need referees and entertainers for points along the route. Plus people to make banners, hand out oranges, make trophies. Please let us know if you would like to be involved in any way.
Kickass. I want to fundraise on my own for the charity ‘cuz I’m a badass. How?
You ARE a badass. We set up a fundraising page that has easy instructions for how to do this, including tax deductions.
How do I sign up?
You are REQUIRED to register in advance. No race-day registrations allowed. This means you – yeah, you!
Does the Musher have to ride, or are they required to “push”?
Pushing is recommended. Highly recommended.
Are helmets required?
Helmets may be a good idea for some. Actually – WE RECOMMEND HELMETS! You race at your own risk.
Do all “dawgs” have to be tied to the carts?
All dawgs have to be attached to the carts in some way. If you don’t like the idea of being tied to a moving shopping cart, handling the ropes is fine.
Can a team sub in replacement dawgs mid-race along the route?
Not unless you want to be DISQUALIFIED.
After I register, can I change my team name?
Yes, but only up until 2 weeks before the race. You must go to the dogtag registration program and update your registration. You can only do this if its more than 2 weeks before race day. If it’s less than 2 weeks, your team can not be updated.
I registered and now one of my teammates had to bail. Can I swap dawgs?
Yes, but only up until 2 weeks before the race. You must go to the dogtag registration and update your dawgs there. You can only do this if its more than 2 weeks before race day. If it’s less than 2 weeks, your team information is cast in stone.
Can my team wear matching outfits?
Yes, knock yourself out. Creativity is highly encouraged, and there will be substantial prizes.
I have lots of friends. Can my team race alongside my buddy’s team on the same route?
Probably; indicate them on your registration form. No guarantees, but we will try. Know This – if you choose this option then you and your buddy’s team are not allowed to sabotage or win any of the time trial prizes.
Wait — teams are allowed to SABOTAGE in the CHIditarod?
Within very specific parameters. You must READ the Sabotage Rules CAREFULLY to see what kinds of shenanigans teams are allowed to commit. Failure to stay within these rules will get you DISQUALIFIED.
What’s a Bike Marshal?
The duty of the elite squadron of mobile Bike Marshals is to keep racers safe from each other, and from themselves. They also rule. They brave the cold and watch over you along the route. They’re there to help, keep people safe, judge the coveted “Bike Marshal’s Choice awards,” and ensure that there aren’t any egregious violations of the rules. We’re all about competitive spirit, but if we catch you loading your cart in the back of a pickup or taking off on a bike, don’t be surprised if you find yourself going home DISQUALIFIED. When they provide you with direction, please follow. Most likely it’s a reminder to race on the sidewalk.
I have questions about the food drive
Consult the Food Drive Rules for all the delicious details.
Can I make a side bet?
What you do on your own time is your business.