Phoenix Idiotarod Brings Surreal Shopping Carts, Crazy Costumes, and Chaotic Fun to Downtown Phoenix This Weekend
Benjamin Leatherman The scene at the starting line of last year's Phoenix Idiotarod.
While this same familiar scene of messy and madcap behavior will likely unfold yet again when the 2013 edition of the Idiotarod commences on Saturday afternoon, organizers claim that the rest of the race will incorporate some unfamiliar and completely new elements, however.
According to Milan Sierra, one of persons helping manage the Idiotarod, a variety of aspects of the annual race -- which features teams guiding their colorful shopping carts throughout downtown Phoenix to various bars and other checkpoints -- will be different from previous editions.
For instance, participants won't have a map to guide them during the competition. They also must participate in every one of the whacked-out challenges -- ranging from beer-chugging contests to maneuvering a balance beam -- that will be set up at each stop along the way.
"It's going to be a process where they're given clues at each checkpoint starting at the very first stop," Sierra says. "In years past, we've always let teams skip checkpoints. Well, this year they're not going to know where to go unless they actually complete the challenge or go to the checkpoint. When they complete the checkpoint or a challenge, they'll be given an envelope with a clue to the next stop."
It's much like the setup of renowned reality show The Amazing Race, which Sierra acknowledges as the inspiration behind the change.
"It's a little spin on the race [that's] like The Amazing Race," he jokes. "Yeah, you could almost call it The Amazing Idiotarod."
Sierra says that other changes to the race, which is organized every year by members of notorious urban prankster group the Arizona Cacophony Society, will include different downtown bars and drinking spots being used than in previous Idiotarod's, as well as unique and new challenges.
"We'll have completely different challenges than from years past, but on the same level of challenges of the past. Just crazy, idiotic challenges, let's put it that way. It's one thing we like to do as the Cacophony Society, just kind of mix it up so you get a brand new [race] every year," Sierra says. "There's going to be some new bar locations, checkpoints as we like to call them, where teams have to wait there for 20 minutes and can mingle with the other teams or sabotage the other teams."