Cotatitarod 2017 Wrap Up

We really had a great day. Five teams ran. We collected entry fees of around 400 pounds of food for the Redwood Empire Food Bank. And a great time was had by all.

Co-lead bike marshal Ellen with her playa bike ready for action. A woman in a pink shirt with a bike decorated with pink flowers.

Co-lead bike marshal Ellen with her playa bike ready for action.

Everyone keeps asking why I’m not working for the revolution. What am I doing to be a part of the resistance? This. This is what I know how to do. Create an opportunity for people to come together as a community and have some fun.

Team Doggie Style getting ready to race. People in dog masks and a shopping cart on the lawn in the park.

Team Doggie Style getting ready to race.

For a moment we are all together enjoying the sun and fresh air, supporting some great local businesses, doing a little bit to help feed the hungry in our community, and remembering to play and have fun with each other so we can stay positive and keep moving forward with good heart. That’s my revolution. Costumes, whimsy, playful competition and silly comradery. I am very grateful to my fellow event organizers and partners in this noble endeavor!

Team Downward Dogs ready for the race to start. A decorated shopping cart and people in dog costumes.

Team Downward Dogs ready for the race to start.

Hugh Williams and Anila Roberts who worked tirelessly to help conceive and publicize this event. Laurie-Ann Barbour who shepherded me through the process of gaining City Council support. Ellen Gordon and Ken Fass who helped with logistics and encouraged me to keep trying when I was ready to give up fighting City Hall. Janelle Black who encouraged my insanity, measured the shopping cart and let me help make the unique trophies. Joshua Walton who ferried shopping carts and supplies to where they needed to be and talked endlessly to me about how to make this work. My mom Carol Grogan who helped with everything and walked the route in wedgies.

Teams lined up at the starting line for the countdown. Decorated shopping carts and costumed racers in line to start the race.

Teams lined up at the starting line for the countdown.

Alex Moran for setting us up with sound gear and a way to watch the livestream. John Parulis for livestreaming the event and recording the historic photo finish line moment. Cheryl Becker for her creative vision to include livestream and being our fabulous emcee. Pete Alexander for his enthusiasm and tireless donation of talents and t-shirts. Dominique Lyons and Robin Temple for bringing their flare to the table. Barry Cogbill for picking up the loose ends and making them secure.

Team Flaming Waldo's on the first leg of the pub crawl. A modified shopping cart with a passenger and four people pulling the cart like a wagon.

Team Flaming Waldo’s on the first leg of the pub crawl.

June Michaels who held my hand when I went to talk to the checkpoints and connected me with Redwood Empire Food Bank. And lastly, but perhaps most importantly, my fellow North Bay Regional Contacts for the Burning Man Network, Jeremy Sharp and Justin Brown, for jumping in and supporting this whole process. We had a lot of fun at the meetings. Everyone showed up and worked together to create our own version of a classic old school event.

The scrap art trophies by Janelle Black with help from Kelly. Trophies made from bike parts, car parts, scrap metal and spray paint.

The scrap art trophies by Janelle Black with help from Kelly.

It takes a dedicated team to pull off an event like this, and I had a strong group with incredibly varied talents come together to make it happen. Our parent event in Chicago would be proud! The CHIditarod created huge shoes for us to fill, and we have only begun to find our own flavor of shopping cart race inspired by their awesome event.

The Trash Dogs celebrating their trophies and a race well run. Shopping cart decorated with recycled materials and 3 team members with their arms held high.

The Trash Dogs celebrating their trophies and a race well run.

We had 30 volunteers and 20 participants come out to create this event together. Although everyone who came out to support the cause is a winner, here is who took home the coveted scrap art trophies as a tangible reward for being a very good dawg:

Racers enjoying the after party with some of the organizers and volunteers. Five people all smiling close to the camera.

Racers enjoying the after party with some of the organizers and volunteers.

First Across the Finish Line: Flaming Waldo’s
Best Decorated Cart: Downward Dogs
Best Themed Costumes: Doggie Style
Best Sprinter: Deble Faulkner of Trash Dogs
Best Last Minute Entry: Golden Rod
Best Team Effort: Downward Dogs
Most Dastardly Team or Best Act of Sabotage: Flaming Waldo’s
Best Use of Repurposed Materials: Trash Dogs

Cotatitarod 2017 is a wrap, our inaugural shopping cart race is done. We were small but mighty, and now we prepare for next year! Thank you to everyone who came out and made it a great day.

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