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Cart Rules


Does my team need to provide our own shopping cart?

Yes. No exceptions. It must be a standard grocery-sized shopping cart – none of those half-length/double-decker carts, child-sized carts, or those fold-up “carts” often piloted by adorable Grandmothers.

Where do we get a cart?

There are many places where one can acquire the standard grocery-sized shopping cart that you will need to participate. Ask your local supermarket if they will lend you a cart for “probably the world’s largest mobile food drive.” They will be glad to participate in this unique event. Give it back to them as a work of art after the race.  Or if they prefer, return it cleaner than you found it. You may also purchase a cart. Try searching on google. Some companies sell used carts, too.

Modifying and Decorating your Cart

Please do. Everyone does. We want yours to be awesome. There are some rules — kind of like stock car racing — and they differ slightly depending on whether or not your team chooses the Racer or Art Cart category.

The following rules apply to BOTH shopping carts and Art Carts:

  • All designs must be made with full regard to both safety and all relevant civil, criminal, and physical laws.
  • All carts need to fit onto the sidewalk (this is a pedestrian race).
  • All four “dawgs” must pull the cart with ropes of some sort.
  • In case of deep snow or treacherous ice, you can attach some sort of sled substructure to the bottom of the cart.
  • You can attach things to your cart, make a riding platform, and grease up your wheels.
  • You can also chop up the cart and rearrange the pieces — but they all have to be attached somewhere else on the cart. All original pieces must be accounted for.
  • Ensure you consider ground & curb clearance.

The following rules apply ONLY TO RACER (REGULAR) SHOPPING CARTS:

  • Your shopping cart cannot be motorized, nor can you use any type of bike/pedal structure for propulsion.
  • You must use a normal-sized cart, i.e. not one of those baby carts from Whole Foods. No exceptions.
  • Your shopping cart must roll on at least 4 normal, standard-issue shopping cart caster wheels that contact the ground as normal.
  • Your cart should be able to fit (with whatever effort necessary) through a regular front-door-sized opening.

Art Carts

What is an Art Cart?

See our Art Cart page for all the details.

Cart Deposits

Or, “What do I do with my cart after the race?”

What is the cart deposit?

There is a $88 cart deposit, which you will pay during registration. Why? Because this is a LEAVE NO TRACE event and you must prove without a doubt that you took your cart home with you after the race. This means photographic evidence of your cart in its natural environment, at the minimum.

Does my cart deposit mean you will provide me a cart?

No. Never. You MUST provide your own cart. Since you’ve read the rules, you know that (a) every team needs to bring their own pimped-out cart, and (b) every team needs to pay the cart-deposit, which is fully refundable per the instructions below.

How does it work?

During check-in you will receive a Bib Number. You MUST attach this bib number to the front of your cart. Plan for this, it is important for you to receive your refund. You will also receive a “cartvixen card” in your racing packet that has directions. All crucial instructions for receiving your deposit back in full are on this card, so it’s worth $88 – you should keep track of it! All proof must be submitted within ONE week of event day. Because Coreganizers have lots to do post-event (and we’re all volunteering our time), the cart refunds may take up to 2 weeks to process (more carts left behind = more delays in refunds). Please be assured that all refunds will happen if you send us the evidence we asked for. Any leftover cart deposit monies from teams not responding and/or deserving of being added to our wall of shame will be donated to the charity after covering race costs. We love volunteers who help clean up post-event, join us the day after – we love us some fresh reinforcements!

What if we abandon our cart?

If you abandon your cart, you forfeit your cart deposit. No exceptions. Your cart is your responsibility. Take the cart back to a supermarket. Donate it. Gift it. Just don’t abandon it.

Why does the cart deposit exist?

CHIditarod is a LEAVE NO TRACE EVENT. This includes your cart. Carts have been abandoned enough times to force creation of the cart deposit, which has significantly helped reduce abandoned carts. If you haven’t figured it out, we take this VERY SERIOUSLY! Plain and simple: TAKE YOUR CART HOME with you after the race. AND.. don’t lose any instructions you receive. We understand that you may be hung-over, but that’s not an excuse to burden race organizers, and our neighbors, with your mess.

Can I store my cart somewhere overnight and pick it up the next day?


No, there is no overnight cart parking in 2022.


Actually, yes! The Starting Line and the Finish line are in the same geographic location. You will be able to leave your cart at the finish line overnight! If you would like to take your cart home on Saturday (Race Day) you must remove it from the yard by 6:30 pm. The gate will lock at 6:30pm. The gate will be open again on Sunday from 12 pm – 2 pm. At 2:01 pm the gates lock and you have forfeited your cart deposit. While you may be hungover, we are too and by Sunday we’ve been rodding for about 70 straight hours. You may not dismantle your cart in the yard. There is nowhere for you to leave trash, remember this is Leave No Trace event, so come prepared to take all of your things with you.

Please make sure to follow the Cart Vixen’s instructions, and take a picture of your cart with the card. This card is located inside your handy racer packet that you receive at checkin. A copy of the card will be located under the page Racer Resources.