08 March, 2008

Chiditarod 2008 or A Study in Altruistic Libertarianism

The Chiditarod is a 5 mile shopping cart race through Chicago's north side neighborhood Wicker Park. Contestants dress in outlandish costumes with more-or-less congruent themes. The overall goal of the race is to raise canned goods for charity. This year, (March 1) they brought in more canned goods than they could weigh and filled several pantries twice. There were technically 6 checkpoints set up at bars with judged contests like a fashion walk, a skit, a haiku recitation...etc. The full results should be up on Chiditarod.org soon.

"Teams are encouraged to do whatever it takes to win. Offering bribes to the judges and sabotaging other teams are part of the fun." - Satta Sarmah and Hilary Powell

A team that won finished very well, cheated massively: a scheme with multiple teams instantaneously leaving and arriving at checkpoints. The founder of Kill Joy then volunteered to check judges' scores and helped with a little creative math. The roller derby team, Windy City Rollers, had a dedicated sabotage team of close to 20 people wracking mayhem and sowing discord. Teams duct-taped other carts' wheels, zip-tied carts to poles and other carts, stole carts and hid them, blocked off entire roads with cellophane wrap and linked arms across intersections singing raucous peace rally songs.

The Chicago Methods Reporter embedded 10 journalists with handy-cams with different teams. The resulting video-reports are posted here.

Team CPD'oh
dressed their mushers as donuts being chased by a CPD car(t). The 13th precinct wants the cart when they're done.

I want to participate next year...if I still live here...if not, I'll fly back.

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