New York, New York

By Andrew Kelly

When an editor reaches out to you with: “Want an assignment that involves biking, drinking, Vikings and shopping carts?” there’s only one answer. And with that, I was Reuters’ assigned photographer for Idiotarod 2014.

The Idiotarod’s website describes it as: “an urban spoof of the Alaskan dog sled race”, namely, the Iditarod, which takes place around the same time.

The Alaskan race involves a grueling multi-day trek by dog sled across the Tundra, compared to the New York version, which consists of drunk hipsters pushing decorated shopping carts from bar to bar over a 5 mile route.

To add curiosity to the day, (as if it needed more) the Alaskan organizers had their lawyers send a cease-and-desist letter to those in New York, feeling that the similar name created confusion.

I rode over to Brooklyn to meet the Idiotarod racers at the starting point on another bitterly cold day in the city. Teams gathered, identified by themed uniforms. One team paid homage to Super Mario Brothers, another to former wrestler “Macho Man” Randy Savage.