The Mushroom Rally is hitting cities throughout the United States, morphing local kart tracks into a real-life Mario Kart-esque experience loaded with costumes, cartoonish objects on the tracks, and stars to collect throughout the experience.
For four days in June, K1 Speed in Medley, located right off the Palmetto Expressway, will host the Miami races. Though it's clearly a nod to Mario Kart, the event is not associated with Nintendo or any other brand.
“Some people have come in their favorite character’s costume, or we’ll have plenty to help them get ready,” says James Farrell, events manager for the Melbourne, Australia-based Viral Ventures, which produces the events. “We’ll have plenty to keep everyone entertained.”
The Miami affair marks the fourth stop on the Mushroom Rally’s 16-city U.S. tour. Thus far, it has hit Los Angeles, Houston, and Denver. The person with the fastest lap time in each city wins an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas to compete in a final race.
So how does all of this work?
Every participant will sign up for a two-hour session. Each session will have ten groups that race. The top ten racers of the day with the fastest lap times will compete in a final race to determine the session’s champion. Only the person with the fastest lap time will win the Vegas trip regardless of the session champion.
According to Farrell, all racers will be piloting karts that will top out at "about 60 kilometers per hour," or about 37 mph. Each lap, which will have inflatables galore on the track throughout, takes about 30 to 40 seconds, and races last approximately ten to 15 minutes. “Of course, if there is a crash, that may delay things,” he adds.
Off the racetrack, there will be plenty of games that dole out "stars" for the winners, Farrell says. In addition to the top lap time in each city, the top three folks nationwide who collect the most stars will also win a trip to Vegas.
And even if you fail at everything, you've still got a shot. Anyone who purchases a ticket to Mushroom Rally will be entered into a nationwide lottery to win a trip to Vegas as well.
So good luck, and put the pedal to the metal.
Mushroom Rally. 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. = Saturday, June 1; Sunday, June 2; Saturday, June 8; and Sunday, June 9; at K1 Speed, 8600 NW South River Dr., Medley; mushroomrally.com/miami. Tickets cost $45 to $55.