Competitors race in a previous Idiotarod.
Competitors race in a previous Idiotarod. (niznoz/Flickr)

Iditarod vs. Idiotarod

New York-based spoof receives cease-and-desist from namesake

Competitors race in a previous Idiotarod.

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You’ve probably heard of the Iditarod, the grueling dogsled race that cuts through Alaska and takes more than a week to complete. But you might not know about Idiotarod, the urban spoof where people in New York City (and 19 other cities) race through frozen streets in shopping carts.

Turns out, Iditarod organizers don’t find the Idiotarod funny.

On January 21, Iditarod lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Idiotarod in advance of the race, which took place on Saturday, January 25. The letter claimed that because of the slight name variation, Idiotarod organizers had breached the Iditarod Trail Committee’s trademark rights.

In a response posted on its Facebook page, Idiotarod organizers announced that the race would proceed as planned but with a minor name modification. Responding to “frivolous threats of legal action,” they stated that Saturday’s race—the 10th annual incarnation—would be renamed the “Idiotarodorama” or, sarcastically, the “Desistarod.”

For race photos and results, check out the Idiotarod’s Facebook page, and for more about the silly event’s grueling namesake, read our recent profile of Iditarod vet Lance Mackey.

From Outside Magazine, April/May 2021
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Lead Photo: niznoz/Flickr

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