I'm tired, hungover, my knees are killing me and I'm pretty much covered from head to toe in pudding. Today may not be so great, but you have to pay for glory and yesterdays Idiotarod was truly glorious.
Quick refresher: The Idiotarod is a 4 mile shopping cart race. Carts must be found - not stolen and returned when your done in good condition. Teams are made of 4 runners, 1 passenger, and each team has to choose a theme and decorate/dress up accordingly. The actual race is separated into 4 legs. At the end of each leg you check in, then after 20 or 30 minutes you check out and haul ass to the next stop. In the middle and sometimes at the end of each leg is some crazy ass drinking challenge. There's also a bonus challenge at some of the stops which knocks extra time off your total. Sabotage and bribery are perfectly legit as the point is more to have fun than win, but everyone still gives it their all to come in first even if prizes are only given out for a bunch of randomm stuff like last place and best cart/theme.
Amy, Jon, McCoy, Cupp(broken hand and all), and myself reformed the same team from last year. We've been looking forward to this for quite a while. Lunchtime talks about names/themes have probably been going on since October. After a lot of back and forth we finalize on a name: Section 8
and a cart design: A Tank
I enlisted a couple of my friends Palmer and Wilson to help with the engineering this time - especially on the cannon. I think our build of the shuttle last year was nothing short of miraculous, but it was a push to get it all done in 1 night. This time we had a few weeks to put something more substantial together and we succeeded beyond all of our expectations.
"Tanky" was officially born on Sunday January 17th. His creation required the following items both purchased and found around my garage:
- 1 Shopping cart (acquired with the help of my folks on Christmas day)
- 4 cardboard boxes
- 6ft of drain pipe
- 1 4" to 6" pipe converter fitting
- 10 small paint buckets
- 1 mortar mixing tub
- 4 foam core boards
- 1 garbage disposal mount
- 2 gold stars
- 1 license plate
- 1 fire extinguisher (bought in the middle of the night off a Craigs List post)
- 3 rolls of duct tape
- 12 glue sticks
- Zip ties
- Green, white, and black paint
Check out the pictures and I'm sure you'll agree that Tanky turned out absolutely brilliant. Props to everyone on the team for putting their heart into it. When we rolled up to the race yesterday we were already pleased with our design. After about half the competitors came by just to say how much they loved our cart we were absolutely glowing.
Like last year, Jon had spent the night prior filling condoms with tapioca pudding. New to our arsenal though were beer powered squirt guns and our secret weapon - a huge CO2 fire extinguisher hidden in the cannon of the tank. Other competitors had water balloons, squirt guns, bags of watery fudge and their own secret weapons like skunk oil(unbelievably horrific stuff). Fortunately, everything stayed pretty civil while we waited for the start of the race.
We wandered around admiring everyone's creations. The Disco Pimps were back with their rendition of studio 51, the Chickens had their giant nest, the CUNTS returned in all new pink underthings and our friend and coworker Spohn even showed up with some kind of giant Christmas tree cart thing. The amount of energy people put into this race is a testament to just how unbelievably fun it is. Random people who stumble into these proceedings are always dumbfounded.
All the runners on the team this year(myself included) have been training for various races for the past few months so when this thing kicked off I wasn't surprised to see us take an early lead. I was a little surprised however at the sheer amount of pudding, water ballons, silly string, and whip cream that got thrown around. We all looked like we had been in a war by the time the race was over.
Tanky fared pretty well for a while and the CO2 cannon was 11 kinds of awesome. Anytime someone got in our way we just blasted them! As things progressed though we lost 1 fender and track then the other. The cannon also kept falling out which meant I had to carry it half the time. Still it was much more sturdy than most of our competition. The biggest issue we faced was weight. There was a challenge where you had to push/carry the cart (passenger and all) through a sand volleyball court. Between all the tank stuff and the fire extinguisher this was a nightmare. In the end I had to hold up the front of the tank while everyone else pushed completely burning out my legs in the process.
We kept in the first couple spots drinking hard and running harder throughout the race. Being out front meant we had to figure out where to go though and the map this year was a Greek tragedy. We kept going the long way or the wrong way alltogether. All the running and the drinking took its toll on me and even though we ended up finishing first, I was running well behind the other guys and there is some debate as to whether or not we got disqualified at the finish line.
The best part of the race may very well have been the after party at the Bikini Lounge. Camaraderie, booze, and lots of cute girls made for a really great time. There was a 2nd after party at a house after the lounge but I was pretty gone by that point. We bailed right after the awards ceremony (Dicso Pimps won best cart again grrr) and briefly took Tanky to the grocery store for some food. When we finally made it to Amy's house for Jon Tencza's birthday party I was done. In no shape to drive, I crashed out on the spare bed which brings me to where I am now - recovering on my couch typing this.
Amy, Jon, McCoy and Cupp - you guys are the best. Thank you so much for carrying my ass on this one :)