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In Urban Iditarod, shopping carts are chariots

Published February 20, 2011 4:07 pm

Taylorsville • Costumed teams will hit the pavement in city's first-ever race.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Humans and shopping carts will take the place of dogs and sleds in Taylorsville's first Urban Iditarod race.

Organizer Rhetta McIff said participants will need to be light on their feet, thinking quickly and in costume as they travel to five "challenge locations." The race will begin at 10 a.m. on March 5 in the area around 5400 South and Redwood Road; racers will get an e-mail telling them the exact starting point a few days before starting time.

"It's an intended way to get people out of the house to do something fun," McIff said.

McIff is chairwoman of the LARP (Leisure Activities, Recreation and Parks) Committee, one of the race sponsors. Her husband, Brett, is chairman of the Healthy Taylorsville Committee, the other sponsor. The cost is $40 per team, with proceeds donated to the YMCA.

Participants will compete in five-person teams and must be 18 to participate. McIff estimates there will be 25 to 50 teams.

There's no exact measurement of the course, but it's less than a 5K. Participants do not need to be runners and will have 21/2 hours to complete the race.

Team members dress in costume and decorate the carts. Themes from events in other cities have included favorite sports teams, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, construction workers, movie characters and sled dogs.

Local businesses are contributing prizes. McIff said the event also is meant to encourage people to shop locally.

In addition, she hopes that people will look for lost carts that have been abandoned off store property and return them after the competition. Racers who can't find a cart can ask the Harmons store manager at 5400 South and Redwood Road to loan them one, McIff said.

pmanson@sltrib.com

On your mark, get set, go!

P The Taylorsville Urban Iditarod will begin at 10 a.m. March 5. For information and to register, go to bit.ly/f6gd4r.