Humbled. Awed. Honored.
There are not enough ways to say how amazed and appreciative we are that you all came out to fight hunger harder than ever before.
In Hunger-Fighting Fundraising
Pounds of Food Donated
More than $140,000 was raised to help make sure food insecurity is addressed across our Chicago communities. On race day, 300 eager and willing participants dressed up, bribed, bonded and left with some pretty cool awards. Without further ado, the 2023 CHIditarod Results…
The Food Drive
CHIditarod gleefully calls itself “probably the world’s largest mobile food drive”, and we could not be more impressed by this year’s food drive success. With the help of our friends at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the CHIditarod XVIII food drive collected enough food and funds to provide more than 6,300 meals for Chicago’s hungry. Thank you CHIditarod participants for being amazing all-stars and for making a difference in the lives of many, many people.
Food Drive Champions:
United Rider Ladies • 1567.5 lbs
The United Riders fully embody CHIditarod. This team brought in 1,567.5 pounds of food to give to those in need. They strive year round to focus on alleviating food insecurity as a group. These ladies are helping overhaul hunger issues in big ways.
Wigs Jacked for Jesus • 557 lbs
Wigs Jacked for Jesus was our second most food drive-driven team, bringing in 557.0 pounds of food, which will help feed 370+ people!
Crash Cart Dummies • 335 lbs
Crash Cart Dummies came back to CHIditarod in triumph with 335 pounds claiming a spot in the top three!
An enormous THANK YOU to everyone for such a strong showing in our annual food drive. You help us make sure no Chicagoan goes hungry.
Fundraising is the powerful force behind the CHIditarod Foundation’s hunger-fighting grant program, providing nearly $500,000 in grants to date to Chicagoland nonprofits who share in our mission to end hunger in Chicago. This year our racers, volunteers, checkpoints, and organizers — with the help of their families, friends, and communities — raised more than $134,000 in support of this community grants program.
Our grant program will once again be able to support community-centered initiatives that address hunger, food scarcity, and education via the CHIditarod Grant Program. We are closer than ever to completing our big huge audacious goal to fundraise $1,000,000 by CHIditarod XX! The hard work of fundraising teams, combined with the generosity of the community and the care of people supporting one another, help us fulfill our mission to ensure everyone has access to food.
3GS&T • $21,478
Fundraising was a fight to the finish — with a total of $21,478.29 — this team, who has helped set the bar high in this category, taunted, teased, and also donated to other top fundraisers along the way. Not only did they transform fund raising goals, we watched them come out of their cocoons in time for spring, and share blossoming plants with all.
2nd Place Fundraising:
Nomeward Bound • $20,595
They truly brought the nitty gritty to fund raising. Last year they won first place and they continue to keep teams in check when it comes to hitting new levels of fundraising. Nomeward Bound also took over the streets with a parade of Gritty’s topping out at nearly seven feet tall!
3rd Place Fundraising:
We’d Like to Solve Hunger • $18,354
Vanna White not only looked stunning in her formal wear, but helped make raising an awe inspiring $18,354 while wearing heels easy. Spin the wheel, buy a vowel, all in the effort to be able to shout out “We’d Like to Solve Hunger”!
4th Place Fundraising:
Chidiots • $12,431
Surpassing their personal fundraising goals, Chidiots hit $12,431. It’s truly inspiring to see so many long racing teams care deeply about fight hunger and getting so many of their friends, family and co-workers to support, year after year.
CHIditarod, The Race
Yes, CHIditarod is indeed still a timed race, despite how distracting fresh air and sunny skies may be on the first weekend of March. These times not only got their hustle on, but stayed on task along the way to get to the finish line, and the after party ahead of the rest.
Shaggin Wagon • 3hrs : 41min
On your mark, get set, RACE! They were off like the ponies and hoofed it to have the fastest time in this year’s race. Congratulations to Shaggin Wagon to having the fastest pony in town.
Shish Kabobs • 3hrs : 49min
Just minutes behind this year were Shish Kabobs. Chiditarod an 8K race, possibly more if you get turned around, and not forget to stay on task when having too much fun along the way.
Three Avenues Bookshop • 3hrs : 55min
We LOVE when first time racers put their all into the event. Three Avenues Bookshop kept on pace and carved out a bit of time to read to racers along the way. Way to finish strong!
The Judges Call!
Best in Show: Cart Nutz
The crazy guys of Cart Nutz once again brought physical humor to Chiditarod, and this time for the big win. Their Duck Hunt game had participants knocking them down dramatically with foam bullets, but it may have been the console that won the day – complete with working buttons for sound effects and music, the giant, handmade Nintendo console atop their cart was truly a feat of engineering.
2nd Best in Show: Cartastrophe
Traveling all the wonders of the world from the comfort of your favorite Chicago bars was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Did you go skydiving? Explore under the seas? How about the streets of Venice? Cartastrophe took you around the world, with travel prices that couldn’t be beat by their expert booking agents.
3rd Best in Show: Pleasure Paradise
The Queer Mishaps surrounded willing participants and helped them discover their inner happiness. From magical crystals to sensory experiences, or a piece of sweet cloud as a snack. You weren’t sure what you might get while arm deep into the white fluff, but it was guaranteed to be ethereal AF.
As the race has gone on, our various Checkpoints have seen some really amazing things. So much so that they now give out their own awards to their favorite teams.
Phyllis’s Musical Inn
Phyllis’ gave The Singer Sewing Machine Award to Nomeward Bound for their utterly phenomenal costume work. When ten bright orange Gritties sauntered into The Yard looking like completely professional mascots, everyone assumed their outfits were purchased – but they were made completely by hand, including a Hancock-holdup version of the Flyers logo, and hats made of popcorn bowls and duct tape. A truly incredible (and slightly terrifying) theme.
Irish Nobleman declared this ecological, plant-based design to be deserving of the Best Living Cart Award. Dressed as bumble bees, cicadas, killer wasps, and other flora, two real-life scientists ensured accuracy in an amusing presentation that included gifts of clippings and male cicada mating rituals.
Output Lounge declared the winner of the Ugliest Sweater Award to be We’d Like to Solve Hunger #1 & #2. A Wheel of Fortune themed pair of carts complete with prize wheel and Vanna turning tiles, each checkpoint had their own puzzle to solve. The biggest win of all was a sweatshirt covered in Pat Sajak photos. Yes, it looks as creepy as it sounds.
Five Star’s Rolling on the River Award went to the Teenage Mutant Tina Turners. Decked out in head-to-toe green, with brightly colored fringe dresses, and that signature Tina hair, they brought the energy and fun of the rock goddess to every Checkpoint. What’s love got to do with this team? Everything!
Root’s presented The Judge Judy Award to The Dilly Partons. Five singing and dancing pickles served up brined snacks and picklebacks from 9-5 while singing their hearts out and shaking their salty selves. In head-to-toe green, with glamorous glasses and sky-high hair, these ladies brought energy and the generous message of their honoree: all Checkpoints had donations made in their honor to Dolly’s Imagination Library.
Rookie of the Year:
Blood Buds – Menstrual Cups of Strawberry Week
A rookie team who won a free registration at the Chicago Food Justice Summit, Blood Buds brought important social messages and resources to race day, while grabbing attention in a hilarious and creative way. And they didn’t even find their physical cart until minutes before check-in closed!
Honorable Mention Rookie:
Tearin Up My Cart
An Honorable Mention to this team of Rookies with an Evil Elvis and four lost but hopeful brides.
Honorable Mention Rookie:
An Honorable Mention to this Rookie team who – like their cart – were dressed as the best of brunch.
Everyone loves big, over the top carts brimming with interactivity. 2023’s brought a cart that was out of this world, and executed with humor. Long standing crowd favorites HoboQ continued to grill it up on the street this year, making sure everyone enjoyed delectable snacks, music, and of course, fire.
Art Cart Champion: Area 312
Winning Best Art Cart for Chiditarod XVIII “Area 312”. A full cast of characters teleported you to a new dimension with an evil scientist, an alien, a reporter trying to crack the case, and an Army General who wasn’t going to talk. Team Area 312 let us all know what the government is hiding behind closed doors, that spaceships are probably just flying discos, and that tinfoil hats never really go out of style.
ROD-Tastic: Emily Belke
Since she first raced in 2018, Emily has been a powerhouse in fundraising. Her teammates change each year, but her effort does not. A forced to be reckoned with in corporate matches, she has almost singlehandedly changed the donations game. This year Emily raised over $12,000 herself and that makes her the ultimate Match Maker, and we are ever grateful for her dedication to our mission.
Racer Survey Results Are In!
Don’t say their name three times! You rode in their coffin, you might have renewed vows, been guided into the after life. Their cart transcended into the Netherworld Beetlejuice.
Dick Dastardly Award:
Cart of Love
Putting a new spin on the shotgun wedding, this group of cupids not only tied you to matrimony, they literally tied and knotted on a streamer of tin cans so everyone along could hear the sound of cart-love.
We cannot express how thankful we are and how far the food raised, as well as money, that will help support those in need at a time when groceries are more expensive than ever before. The CHIditarod Foundation is committed to making sure food is accessible to everyone in the greater Chicagoland area. Our grant program gives out both programming as well as infrastructure grants. In 2022 we gave out $86,00 to fund 22 projects. We could not do this work without the generosity of everyone who fundraised. Check back on our Grants Page for more information.
** 1.2 pounds of food per meal is the conversion used by Greater Chicago Food Depository and Feeding America
About the Race
The annual philanthropic spectacle raced through Chicago’s West Town neighborhoods, with each team visiting five checkpoints:. Five Star, Phyllis’s Musical Inn, Roots Handmade Pizza, Output Lounge, and newcomer Irish Nobleman. Each checkpoint hosted our costumed superstars with immersive themes, contests, and interactive opportunities. Our friends at Cobra Lounge graciously stepped up to host the Start and Finish Lines. We wrapped up the awards ceremony at Bar Sol in Navy Pier, where there was music, munchies, and mega dancing. All bars have generously agreed to donate a portion of their proceeds to The CHIditarod Foundation to aid in our epic mission of fighting hunger in Chicago, in a time where it will be needed more than ever before.