Rules will be enforced. While this is fully intended to be an event of stupidity, we do not want anyone hurt, arrested, or otherwise shamed beyond a reasonable degree.


Serious violations will result in teams being disqualified from the race. You can still go to the party, but you may be paddled. Minor or amusing violations will incur time penalties.


In reality, this is something of an underground event and there is probably a whole lot that we don’t really want to know about, but we ask that you please do not break any laws. We’re trying make this an outstanding day of ridiculous fun, but please know that you are playing by your own choice and we’re not going to force you to do something that might hurt you. Sure, we know we can't stop folks from drinking during the race, but know that we will not be giving awards for drunkenness, nor is it a factor in the final race results. We may laugh at you, but you won’t win any points, so please drink responsibly. Oh, and you should also probably try to follow basic traffic laws (just a good idea in general).

There is no official route. The race includes a start, a mystery location, three checkpoints, and a finish (Chief Ike's Mambo Room - 1725 Columbia Rd. NW). All the team racers must begin at the starting line, hit all checkpoints, and then cross the finish line. It is up to you to choose your own route, factoring in street surface, traffic, pedestrians, and potential snow accumulation.

Your entire team must remain checked in at each checkpoint, and “rest” for 20 minutes.  Your check-in time begins when ALL team members are present, so keep an eye on the stragglers.

The SMASHED Board of Fools will serve as Judge and Jury for all petitions of all things fair and unfair. Even if we are drunk.

Teams must include six (6) members.

The same six members must start, finish, and hit every checkpoint together. You may not swap in designated runners, though you may rotate positions.


Five Pullers/Runners must be attached to the cart during the entire race (except at checkpoints). You choose your own form of rigging. One person (Musher) is free to run behind the cart, though he or she should have a hand on the cart at all times. The Musher may ride in the cart, but this is dangerous and not recommended. If you do decide to ride in the cart we strongly suggest that a helmet of some sort is worn. It’s not only practical, but it’s funny. And it’s the law in some states (you know, those really progressive states with legislation about riding in grocery carts with helmets).

Pullers and Mushers may rotate positions during the race.

Teams must be on foot at all times. Bikes, rollerblades, jets, or rocket packs are not allowed. That also means no subways, cars, vans, taxis, or other conveyances.

Teams must use a standard shopping cart. Any size cart is fine, as long as it is not a child's cart or a toy.

Carts may be modified, but they must include every part of the original cart. We generally don’t recommend modifications that require blowtorches or wire cutters, but if you do come up with some whacked-out architectural wonder, just make sure you have all parts of the original cart involved.

Carts must ride on original caster wheels. Wheels may be any size, but they must be solid rubber. No inflatable tires.

Carts may not be motorized.

You are responsible for your own cart. We suggest a bike lock. Other teams might try to steal your cart and if they succeed, that would really blow your chances of winning.

In the case of fresh snow or ice, carts MAY ride on sleds or skis.

Let’s be real clear here: We do not condone any activity that jeopardizes the safety of racers or observers. This is supposed to be both fun and embarrassing, but not life threatening. You and your entire team will be disqualified immediately if it is perceived that a team tried to willfully inflict serious injury (we saw that ridiculous CSI:NY episode — don’t pull any of that stuff here). This includes any activity that causes a racer to fall, tip over, hurl into traffic, unintentionally maim pedestrians, or destroy private property.

When we suggest Sabotage, we mean street smarts. Trickery. Chicanery. Tomfoolery of an entertaining nature. You get the picture. Got a friend who is DCPD? Maybe he or she might want to “delay and question” other teams… get it? Good.  Please take a gander at our little list of OK and Not-So-OK sabotage:

Examples of Acceptable Sabotage:

* Locking up another team's cart with a bike lock, then giving the key to the nearest Bar Tsar (who can unlock the cart after an appropriately embarrassing amount of time, assuming the team hasn't figured out a way to defeat the lock)

* Relocating another team's unguarded cart and notifying a Bar Tsar where you hid it (Bar Tsars keep secrets as long as necessary)

* Putting vaseline on another cart's handlebar

* Finding a way to non-permanently gum up the wheels of another cart

* Water balloons

* Anything that won't delay the other team more than an hour (especially if it's funny)

Examples of Unacceptable Sabotage:

* Locking up another cart, then throwing the key down the nearest sewer grate (or other unretrievable location)

* Chopping off the hands of other team members so they can't push their cart

* Planting illegal substances in another cart and flagging down a cop

* Setting off explosive devices in another cart

* Frozen water balloons

* Anything that could hurt someone

Indeed this is a race in that there’s a defined winner, but really it is meant to be a social activity of a fun and silly nature. Do not break laws or do harm to other racers. It is about testing your own willingness to make an ass of yourself. You are not expected to be in top physical condition or to run the entire time. You are expected to kind of be a good sport, have fun, meet new people and generally enjoy the day. You are expected to pretend to be a mature adult doing good for the world. Now mush, you huskies!!!!!!!!!!

The DC Idiotarod is brought to you by SMASHED!  If you’d like to get on our mailing list for other fun events, just send an email to

If anything on this page is unclear or you want further clarification, just email