Hams on a roll: It’s time for the Idiotarod

The Brooklyn Paper
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Stupid is as stupid does.

And when stupid dresses in a costume, appropriates a shopping cart, and pushes it around the city with friends in search of merriment, attention and intoxication, it’s likely that stupid is taking part in the Idiotarod.

The annual race that mocks the great Alaskan Iditarod by putting shopping carts in place of sleds — and people in the place of sled dogs — will roll through the borough on Saturday, bringing dozens of costumed rabble-rousers on a rickety, ever-evolving circuit.

As always, details about the race are shrouded in more secrecy than Obama’s e-mail address, with organizers going so far as charging news agencies $200 to cover the event (Editor’s note: Thanks but no thanks. We only pay for exclusives!).

Interested participants can register online for $35 and must arrive with a team of five racers and shopping cart for the 10 am start, which is listed as the Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City.

But don’t get too wed on distant Queens. Last year, seconds before the gun sounded, the starting line was moved from Greenpoint to Chinatown in an attempt to evade police. Contestants say it will likely happen again.

And once the Idiotarod begins, anything goes.

“We will give racers a starting line, some checkpoints and a finish line. You choose the fastest path,” read the rules on the Idiotarod Web site.

Competitors at previous Idiotarods say the event is a blast for the costumed teams, which navigate their decorated carts from neighborhood to neighborhood aiming more for style than speed.

“It’s a spectacle that’s really fun if you’re a part of it — and not so fun if you live in a neighborhood where there are hundreds of carts left behind,” said blogger Keith Wagstaff, whose 2008 team, “Kraftwerking for the Weekend,” dressed like the German Techno pioneers and danced to Krautrock as they pushed the cart around the city.

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Updated 5:10 pm, July 9, 2018
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