Hijinks abound at the Asheville Idiotarod

Frightful weather (in the low 40s, raining and windy) didn’t deter 275 “idiots” from racing their shopping carts on Sunday morning. The first annual Asheville Idiotarod was an epic test of stamina, will and creativity.

Here’s the roundup of the winners (read more about the awards here), and a photo gallery of the action from Xpress photographer Jonathan Welch. Also, check out this video from Pattiy Torno, an artist and key figure in the River Arts District.

The Hoff Award: Rudolph’s Revenge. (This team consisted of four Santas hitched up to a sleigh, pulling another Santa. The team had a sound-system rigged up and the head Santa was rapping over-top of the music. After the race, Rudolph’s Revenge turned the Wedge Brewery into an instant dance party).

The Chuck Norris Award: The Super Turbolicious Divas (The STDs). (Apparently the Chuck Norris award means you crossed the finish line first. Holla!)

The Zoolander: Coyote Ugly. (The team of cowgirls decked out their cart to look like a horse. They were rockin!)

The Terry Tate Award: Mine-less. Read about the trickery below.

The Richard Simmons Award: Team Fonda. (A whole lotta spandex).

The Picasso Award: Three Nuts and Two Screws. (This might have been Numb Nuts and Go!Nads, but I can’t be sure).

The “I Piddy da Fool” Award: The Tourists.

Organizer Richard Handy told this tale of trickery about how the STDs won the race: A co-conspirator helped build a fake checkpoint and stopped the team that was in front of them, telling them they needed another stamp to pass. “He stopped the other team and said we have to stamp your card … Meanwhile, the other girls have taken off, and the guys are sitting there not knowing what the hell to do.” The conspirator pretended to have lost the stamp, and during the distraction, the STDs raced to the end.

But that wasn’t the most impressive feat of trickery, Handy said. The Mine-Less team made a boot which they affixed to hapless teams’ shopping carts, with a phone number to call for the combination release. When the teams would call the phone number, Mine-Less would give them one number at a time…causing a lengthy holdup for the racers.

Handy raised $2,300 after expenses which will help launch the nine-months-in-the-making 12 Day Project. The event also gathered food for MANNA, helped build a community garden in the River Arts District and helped take down some buildings in the path of a future greenway. Those challenges were all part of the race.

For those who missed it, Handy says he’ll be planning another Idiotarod for Spring. Also on his list of events: A pillow-fighting championship, the Big Bad Bunny 5K scavenger hunt, and something about sumo wrestling with greased ramps. We’ll keep you posted.

A special shout-out to WNC Magazine, which fielded two whole teams, thus throwing down the gauntlet for Xpress to race next time around.

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