Race the Chiditarod!
What IS the Chiditarod?
The Chicago Urban Iditarod, affectionately known as the Chiditarod, is an annual shopping cart race through the Wicker Park and Ukrainian Village Chicago neighborhoods, which is now in its 8th year. The date of the event was chosen to coincide with the kickoff of the Alaskan Iditarod. There are some basic similarities between the races, but there is plenty more whimsy involved in this urban setting. Instead of sleds, we use shopping carts. Instead of dogs, we have teams of five humans: four pullers and one musher, all in costumes they have designed for themselves and their cart. Also, each team is required to start with their cart full of food for donation. The event draws together 800+ people, both participants and spectators, and has collected 75,000 pounds of food and $40,000 in direct donations since its 2006 inception. Chiditarod is a one-of-a-kind event dedicated to self-expression — part charity food drive, part beauty pageant, part bar crawl, all costumed shopping cart race. Am epic spectacle like no other.
Sounds fun…how does it work and what do I gotta do?
First, realize that the Chiditarod is a race like no other. It’s a food drive, a race for charity, a beauty pageant, a bar crawl, spontaneous street theater, and not for the feint at heart. It’s fast, furious, cold, exciting, fun, and very creative. Teams come back year after year with new theme ideas, bigger and more elaborate carts, and a thirst to express their creativity while helping others through charity. If you’re racing Chiditarod for the first time, make sure you do your homework so you understand what’s expected of your team, and what the event will be like. Realize there are hundreds of costumed Chicagoans ready for an epic day. Realize your team may get sabotaged. Realize that there is no such thing as bad weather — just poor wardrobe choices. You may be asked sternly to get on the sidewalk. These things are okay — at the end of the day, Chiditarodders take care of each other, have a blast, and run roughshod over hunger.
Still interested? Good. Gather your team of 5 humans. Read the rules, and the FAQ, then read them again. Register your team. Figure out an awesome theme. Borrow a cart, then trick it out. Get acquainted with the sabotage rules & fundraising opportunities. On race day, bring at least 55 lbs of non-perishable food in your cart to the starting line. Space is limited, and we always fill up. Don’t delay. Mush.
The Chiditarod is a not-for-profit based in Chicago. We lay claim to being “Probably the World’s Largest Mobile Food Drive.” Our philanthropic efforts address urban food and hunger challenges by partnering with organizations that provide immediate hunger relief (like food pantries), and sustainable food empowerment through urban farming, community gardens and education.
Every Chiditarod team has to show up to the starting line with at least 55 lbs. of non-perishable food in your cart. At the end of the race, all that food is donated to our friends at the Greater Chicago Food Depository. More than 80,000 pounds donated to date.
Chiditarod teams continuously amaze us with their fundraising initiatives.. more than $40,000 raised since inception! Get empowered and share your glory in a really big way by raising cash donations. We make it easy.
- First and foremost, join the announcement group. We only send official information, and very rarely. No chat, no spam, nothing but the raw facts. If you don’t hear it here, it might as well not exist.
- Second and secondmost, You should like the Chiditarod Mushbook aka the Chiditarod Facebook page.
- Third and thirdmost, follow and tweet at @chiditarod on Twitter. Hashtag suggestions: #sabotage #mush #glory #epic.