Ready, Set, Mush!



So what is an Iditarod? Well, the real Iditarod is the famous long-distance race in which furry yelping dogs tow a sled across Alaska’s frozen landscape. The Cleveland Urban iditarod is pretty much the same thing, except that instead of dogs, it’s people; instead of sleds, it’s shopping carts; and instead of Alaska, it’s Cleveland. The Cleveland Urban Iditarod is a one-of-a-kind event dedicated to self-expression, reclaiming our city for creative freaks of all varieties, raising large mounts of food for our city’s disadvantaged thru the Cleveland Foodbank, and creating copious amounts of epic. Who can race? Anyone can race and everyone should race, as long as you are at least 21 years old. Umm......Isn’t it going to be cold? You are from Cleveland aren’t you? So the answer is........ Absolutely. The race goes off rain or shine, blizzard, breeze or tornado. What does this mean? If there is a foot of snow on the ground........Be prepared. 3 inches of ice........Be ready. 48 degrees and raining,..........Be happy it’s not 3 feet of snow. The average temperature for March 4th in Cleveland is 38 degrees. In any case, bundle up and you will survive.



Proposed Clevealnd Iditarod Route (Still TBD) 11AM Start Time What’s the route? That’s up to you.  The race will begin at 11:30 pm SHARP. You choose the fastest path between the start, each of the checkpoints, and the finish. Your team will stay at each checkpoint for 20 minutes before continuing on your journey. Why are you doing this?

Helping others and building on Cleveland’s creative community is sexy. And it’s important to fight cold and kill boredom during the winter. After all, it’s March..... In Cleveland. Plus it will be absurdly fun.

• Teams have 5 people. No more, no less. • The carts must be pulled doggy-sled style. That means that each team must have four people in front with ropes pulling the cart (the dawgs), and one person running behind the cart steering (the musher). This configuration represents the theoretically ideal power-to-steerage ratio of 4:1, and must be observed at all times.  • Dawgs and mushers are free to trade off at the checkpoints. • All team members must finish together - no stray dogs! (Of course dogs and musher may run free while they’re being watered at the checkpoints.) There will be marshals along the route to ensure proper form, function, and of course, safety. • No face-masks at the starting line, checkpoints, or finish line. • No assisted movement other than your team’s own ten feet. Can we try to prevent other teams from winning? i.e. Sabotage?

Maybe.  You MUST READ the Sabotage Guidelines for the full schtick.
The Cleveland Urban Iditarod is a food drive - 40 pounds per cart!

In addition to being an outstandingly fun time, and to give back to the community, the Cleveditarod is also a food drive. Your cart has to cross the finish line with 40 pounds of food or more! You can hide food along the way, have your friends meet you with it, or have it stuffed in your pocket when the gun goes off - it’s up to you.  Just don’t forget your groceries at the finish line. And please - high-protein non-perishable foods are highly preferred.
Can we use public transportation? No. Can we use private transportation? What do you think? No.

Be assured that this will result in immediate disqualification and public flogging. 
Can I bring my real dogs?

No...Real dogs make me sneeze...Please, no.
Should I obey city traffic laws?

What do you think? You should obey all applicable traffic and civil laws. Unless, of course, you want to become one with your cart and/or the concrete and/or the back seat of a police van, we highly recommend obeying all traffic laws. Good luck!
Who has the final say?

The judges. The judges have final say over all prizes and winners. This is complete and final.  Judges have sole discretion over all points awarded or deducted, prizes awarded, which prizes are being awarded, race rules, all laws of physics, what time it is, and what happened in the past, all of which are subject to change without notice.
Where did you get the idea for this event?

We stole it from Chicago. They stole it from some people in New York who have been doing it since 2003. They stole it from a group of people in San Francisco who have been doing it since 1994. We are not original - but we do like to have fun.
This sounds funny. Can I bring my video camera and document it?

We would much rather you race. We think you’ll have more fun. But yeah, you can come cheer on the teams at the starting line or at any of the checkpoints. Feel free to bring your camera and document the race. Then send us a copy of the footage and we may incorporate it into a video...or the gallery. Upload to the website.

What is this going to cost? Dignity. Plus an entry fee. In order to alleviate race-day registration stress, and provide for BIGGER CASH PRIZES, we have a tiered registration: Registration Period Cost per team Payment Method Through February 15 $40 Paypal Through March 1 $60 Paypal March 4 (Race Day) $75 Cash, if registration is open Plus a $50 Refundable Cart Deposit is also required at the time of registration. One of the best things about the Cleveland Urban Itidarod is that there are tons of ways to participate and win. See our prizes page for the latest information on how you too can be a winner with the Cleveditarod. Cash? We’ll spread it around. Promise.   How do I register? If we are now accepting registrations, you may register on the Registration page.  Please follow all instructions carefully.  Don’t jeopardize your chances of racing because you didn’t read all of the instructions. Where can I get more information? Check back with There will also be an extremely detailed email a week before the event that is sent to all registered participants. Can I make a side bet? Absolutely. Will there be an After Party? Yep, most likely. This will be ridiculous. There will be sacks of cash and other prizes for the winners. Guidelines for Spectators • Stay out of the streets. Period. We mean it. You will be herded like mindless cattle. But we still Love you! • Record the amazingness. Bring nice high-definition photo and video cameras. Upload and link to our Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter accounts Use the tag “ReadySetMush2012”. • Support the cause by bringing food for racers or fundraise for our charity! • You are not allowed to participate in sabotage. Please, please, don’t. :) • If you are working with a team to provide food, please consult with your team in advance as to where you plan on meeting them.

Does my team need its own shopping cart? Yes. Where do we get a cart? There are many places where one can acquire the standard grocery-size shopping cart that you will need to participate. Ask your local supermarket if they will lend you a cart for the “charity race of the century.” They will be glad to participate in this unique event. Give it back to them as a work of art after the race.  You may also purchase a cart.  Try searching on google, or barter with a bum. Just don’r steal one. You are better than that. Can we decorate or modify our shopping cart? Yes, of course! However, there are rules -- kind of like stock car racing. • Design your cart with full regard to both safety and all relevant civil, criminal, and physical laws. • Your shopping cart must roll on four rubber caster wheels.
The only exception is that you can attach some sort of sled substructure to the bottom of the cart in case of deep snow or treacherous ice.

• • • •

As a general rule, you can attach things to your cart, make a riding platform, and grease up your wheels. Your shopping cart cannot be motorized, nor can you use any type of bike/pedal structure for propulsion. You must use a normal-sized cart, i.e. not one of those baby carts from Whole Foods. All four “dogs” must pull the cart with ropes of some sort.
If you don’t like the idea of being tied to a moving shopping cart, handling the ropes is fine and possibly even recommended.

• Your cart should be able to fit (with whatever effort necessary) through a regular front-door-sized opening. If it’s wide, maybe use hinges? • Helmets may be a good idea for some. Actually - WE RECOMMEND HELMETS! • You and your cart should be prepared for hostile weather, including snow, freezing rain, and pedestrians. What do I do with my cart after the race? Answer: LEAVE NO TRACE! Pack it in, pack it out. Your cart is your responsibility. Donate it to Someone.  Anyone.  Just don’t abandon it. Keep it in storage for next year. Anything but leaving it on the streets of our Beautiful City. You must  prove without a doubt that you took your cart home with you after the race.  This means photographic evidence of your cart, at home, at the minimum.  Send your proof to  PLEASE take your cart home with you.  Because Coreganizers have lots to do post-race, the cart refunds may take up to a week to process.  Please be assured that all refunds will happen if you send us that evidence.  Any leftover cart deposit monies will be donated to the charity after covering race costs.  We can use volunteers to help clean up post race if you are interested.   Okay, so we should decorate the cart. Should we also wear costumes? Absolutely. Definitely. Creativity is a huge part of this event. Wild costumes and insane themes are wholly encouraged. The first rule of Cleveland Urban Iditarod is... fun is mandatory.  95% of all teams have costumed themes.  It’s epic.  We are looking for pure street theater. 

DoodleBar at IngenuityFest

Dr. Sketchy Cleveland

Cleveland Santacon

DoodleBar at IngenuityFest

About The YoyoSyndicate The YoyoSyndicate is a Cleveland based manufacturer of on-demand creative spaces and events. What we do We operate with the objective to engage greater Cleveland’s creative communities with marketable events tailored to working creatives and the communities in which they socialize. The YoyoSyndicate’s focus is on inspiring, retaining and connecting with Cleveland’s creative populations through the development of stimulating communal spaces and creative experiences. We will work within the public/private system as a Event Marketing Agency. Our main areas of attention will be the cross sector development of: Social Events Pervasive Gaming Pop-Up Social/Retail experiences Nightlife Marketing
For more information please contact

Aaron Erb at 216.272.4165 or @YoyoCleveland

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