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The shopping cart is most people's first ride. Whether it's in the aisles of your local grocery store or whizzing through the parking lot standing on the little undercarriage, there's something beguiling about the humble cart and its wobbly wheels. So it comes as little surprise that people would race them. The Idiotarod, a fundraiser for Operation Food Search (of course), transforms the little one-seater into a dogsled–cum–noble vehicle. Four-person teams must be attached via bungee cords, rope or something similarly sturdy, then they'll pull the cart (they're disqualified if they ride in the cart) through downtown while one musher spurs them on to victory. To add to the ridiculous nature of the race, every team must have a theme for their cart and then decorate it accordingly — and each team member must also be costumed to match the theme (no masks allowed, but helmets are recommended). At 10:30 a.m. today, intrepid racers converge on Old Post Office Plaza (Ninth and Locust streets) for an Idiot Pageant and then mush it up while obeying all traffic rules and visiting various checkpoints along the course, which ends at Lumière Place Casino and Hotel. Registration for teams is already closed, but spectators are more than welcome to line the course and cheer for their favorites — or for all of them. More information and a map of the route can be found at www.downtownstl.com.
Sat., March 6, 2010

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