Friday, February 10, 2012
Idiotarod NYC 2012: Behind the cart
Kostume Kult entered the 2012 NYC Idiotarod with an exceptional cart called The 4 Pony Babies of the Apocalypse. Our team worked hard on building an exciting cart that would stand up to the gauntlet of a course that is the Idiotarod. I'll write a little about how we built our cart at a later date, but let me get into a race recap first.
This being my first Idiotarod I was not sure what to expect besides mayhem and themed carts. Will I have to run the whole time? What if another team sabotages our cart? Won't we be freezing our butts off running around outside in January?
Well thanks to the non-winter 2012 has been in NYC, freezing was at least off the table. It was a clear sunny Saturday morning when teams of costumed competitors looking for fun and perhaps glory assembled at a random asphalt park deep in Queens. Our carts were festooned with covered wagons, internet memes, Snoopy's dog house and flaming mushroom clouds as we prepared for our day long journey ahead. Little did we know what a long strange journey it would be.
After we all officially registered I had the idea this was quite an organized event. By the end of the day I got the idea that the organizers had the best of intentions but things don't always go as smoothly as planned. But let's get back to the race. There were some opening ceremonies with the singing of the Idiotarod "Anthem" and we were off to our first stop Yerman's Irish Pub in Glendale, Queens. As proven by the Shit New Yorkers Say video most New Yorkers never go to Queens and if they do its to the Beer Garden in Astoria. So Glendale Queens might as well have read Abudabi to most of the participants. "Where are we going?" and "Where the hell is the subway?" could be heard from racers above the rattle of our carts on the pavement.
The first stop had various tasks which had to be completed during the hour you must stay at the check point. There was a Valentine making station with glitter, contraction paper and candy, then a Dance Off lead by a race official, also food. Its important to attempt to eat whenever you can on this race cause drunkeness and exhaustion can sneak up on you. Heaven forbid you are guarding the cart and doze off or become distracted by a dance competition. You're cart could be commandeered by another team! Our team completed the tasks in the require time and were given the next stop by the officials. Thanks to smart phones we looked up the location and found out it was FOUR MILES AWAY!! This was disheartening news as that is a long way to haul a shopping cart but what other choice did we have!? After 2 miles we started to get desperate. We tried thumbing a ride from a guy in a Uhaul. He looked as us like (appropriately) like we had 6 heads each. Finally we found the L train, carried the cart down the stairs and through the emergency exit while the subway attendant looked slightly stunned but mostly unimpressed (typical New Yorker response). It is against the Idiotarod rules to take your cart on another form of transportation during the race. We however were ready to throw the rule book onto the 3rd rail.
Finally we were to the 2nd stop where we had to hula hoop or something. The long distance had really taken the wind out of our sails so we were majorly relieved when we found the next bar. Most of us really had to go to the bathroom and were in desperate need of another drink. From then on the race degraded into more or less a free for all where stops were skipped and everyone had reached a level of intoxication where they didn't care if their cart got stolen by a desperate homeless person anymore.
A few hours later by the grace of God we had all survived and it was time for the award ceremony and after party. The awards were given out to teams for all sorts of ridiculous categories with Scooby Doo and the Harlem Globetrotters taking the top prize of the event. Seeing as Scooby and his pals nearly missed the entire event, Congratulations! I was really impressed with your theme choice and the great Mystery Machine cart you built with working headlights. Over all it was a really fun day with lots of silliness and a special something you can only find at a costumed event. I look forward to next years Idiotarod but I doubt it will top my first time experience.