Racing president auditions will not be held on Presidents Day weekend this year.
The Washington Nationals announced this evening that they would break the tradition in order to promote their newly-conjured rivalry between racing president fan favorite Teddy Roosevelt and newcomer William Howard Taft.
The two presidents will take off Friday in a 4-day race to race to Mt. Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, where they will meet up with their fellow racing presidents on Presidents Day.
The Nationals will promote the race as “Bill and Teddy’s Executive Adventure,” and ask fans on Twitter to use the hashtags #VoteBill or #VoteTeddy beginning Friday to pick their favorite. One supporter of each president will win a “private mascot appearance” with her choice.
The Nats had been mum about confirming the date for auditions, and now we know why. Ted and Bill’s road trip have pushed the auditions to Saturday, March 2.
As always, applicants must be adults between 5’7” and 6’ 6” in height, can handle wearing a 45-pound costume for hours, can commit to at least 35 home games, and can run 200 yards in 40 seconds or less (yes, that’s with the costume still on).
The Nationals typically select 50 to 60 applicants to be invited to auditions, in which they will race against each other, run a 40-yard dash, dance, and show their celebration skills.
For a sense of what’s in store, check out our video chronicle from last year’s auditions: