This weekend marks the 3rd Annual Downtown St. Louis Idiotarod to benefit Operation Food Search. The event, put on by the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis, features teams of five people acting like they are Alaskan sled dogs with a shopping cart instead of a sled. 4 folks have to hold onto the cart while one person pushes. The course goes from Old Post Office Plaza all over Downtown St. Louis with stops at various restaurants and landmarks to participate in challenges before ending along Washington Avenue at Rosalita’s Cantina. “Corporate” teams compete on Friday and “Open” teams compete on Saturday.
My team is in the “Open” competition on Saturday, for the third year. Hopefully I have learned some things by now.
The first year, I participated with some friends from Soulard and my cousin. We clearly didn’t know the tricks of the trade. We decided to partake in a few beverages before the race and during the early part of the race, which severely dampened our ability and desire to run. We got penalized at the second stop because we were too awesome at the first stop. Who would have thought that even if you rock the semi-athletic competition of throwing tennis balls through a hole that you would have to stay to let the other teams keep up? We happened to spend our “time-out” at a Mexican restaurant with cheap tequila. Needless to say, we weren’t in the running for the overall lead after that stop. We weren’t the only team that looked like amateurs on Mardi Gras Grand Parade Day though. I witnessed a mother lying on the ground outside City Museum while her daughter questioned why they appeared to have traded roles for the day. We raised a grand total of $20 for Operation Food Search.
Last year, I learned a lesson in that I wore shorts instead of jeans even though it was cold outside. My cousin and I were the only hold-overs from the first year on our team. We learned not to get penalized at the first stop or drink cheap tequila during “time-out”. We did, however, take two tumbles during the race. In the first accident, the “musher” went up and over the cart when a crack in the sidewalk jumped out of nowhere at us. On the second accident, I failed to lift my foot up high enough to clear the curb and ended up looking like I was diving headfirst into second base. We ended up raising more money than we had the year before and finished somewhere around seventh overall in total time.
This year, my cousin and I will have 6 years of combined Idiotarod experience and my other cousin’s husband will be back again from last year. Rounding out the team will be another cousin and one of my little brothers. My one cousin not only lets her husband compete with us, she is also our Chief Fundraiser. This may or may not have a lot to do with the fact she is the only one who has all of the email addresses for the extended family. We are already above our combined total from the last two years so she appears to be doing a good job.
Our team name is “Race Of Thrones” and our sled theme is “a collaboration of kings ready to take the Idiotarod throne.” You’ll have to come out on Saturday or wait for the pictures to see our whole team, but I can give you a hint to my costume. I went through several choice of kings. I thought about being Michael Jackson, the “King of Pop”, but I didn’t think I could pull it off. I thought about King Kong and Elvis too. While I think a full-size King Kong costume would have been a great purchase, I thought that it might get really hot to run in. Elvis seemed like a good choice, but our Chief Fundraiser and her husband are huge fans of “The King” and even got married at Graceland. If he wasn’t going to don the sideburns, I th0ught it would be an injustice if I did. Here’s a hint at what I finally came up with.
We think we are ready for the Idiotarod this year. Y’all should come out and watch. Check the website for some designated spots to watch from. I’ll love you forever if you would donate to our virtual food basket to help Operation Food Search. The top team last year raised close to $5,000 so, we need donations from anyone reading this, their current significant others, previous significant others, childhood babysitters, childhood friends, co-workers, neighbors, maids and family. Remember, we are “Race Of Thrones”.
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