MARIETTA - Despite a day of rain, the first Righditarod took place Saturday raising funds and collecting food for area food pantries.
Right Path of Washington County coordinator Cathy Harper said the race, loosely based on the famous Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska, had 12 teams of four racers and one musher racing decorated shopping carts around Marietta in a scavenger hunt to benefit the nine food pantries in Washington County.
While the racers in Alaska - where the real race also kicked off Saturday - had to deal with cold, ice and snow, racers in the Marietta version had to deal with rain that was heavy at times.
During the race, teams made stops to participate in events to earn points. Events ranged from seeing which team could eat the most donut holes in one minute to spinning a wheel which could lose points if they did not hit the spots with a prize.
Stephanie Davis was one of the people manning the station at the Tim Horton's on Seventh Street. At that station two members from each team had to eat as many of the Tim's Bits as they could in one minute. She said the top team ate 17 and the next highest team had 16.
Mirian Keith, coordinator, said the teams were competing for points in a number of categories.
Members of the Pink Ladies, from left, Kelly Lindsay, Jackie Bailey, Pam Pauley, Donna Schilling and Tonia Skinner, unload their cart at the end of the Righditarod. (Photo by Jeffrey Saulton)
"They got one point for each dollar they raised before the race," she said. "They also got points for participating in the challenges at each stop, their costumes and the decorations on their carts."
Many of the decorations did not hold up to well in the rain, but the racers collected funds for the pantries and a number of items for the food banks as well.
Keith said while donations of food items are appreciated, the monetary donations benefit the pantries more.
"The money helps them a lot," she said. "They are able to purchase food from the food bank at prices that allow them to get more bang for the buck."
Harper said the teams raised $2,130 and there was a $10,000 donation from Dominion Gas. She said Pampered Chef was the top team in the race and the food and money collected in the event will be shared equally among the nine food pantries.