Weird Sport: Bed Racing

Bed racing: The start of a race.

Written and Media by Austin Brinkman [divide]

A team of bed racers coming to the finish. From
A team of bed racers coming to the finish. From

Yes folks, this is a real sport! Believe it or not, Bed Racing is a sport born out of interest and enjoyment for the new Knaresborough Round Table in 1966, which was looking for a charity fundraising event. They came up with a time trial in which teams would follow the course by pushing around beds around the town of Knaresborough, United Kingdom.

The basic part of the course is to start and finish at Conyngham Hall grounds. Teams have to climb to the top of a hill that leads up to the castle, which ultimately ends with a swim across the River Nidd. This has not changed since the first race in 1966, although the town did have to switch up the path of the course a bit,to make it safer for the spectators. The course does go two and a half miles long.

Only four teams competed during the first year in 1966. The race is usually held on the second Saturday of June, a tradition that goes even today. Since the weather was bad that day there were not many spectators. This event did raise $300 for a local charity and brought much attention to the community. It also was a great way for the community to enjoy a fun filled event. Today, volunteers still organize the event for the entertainment of the people and to raise money for a good cause.

The second year of Bed Racing had way better weather and an amazing crowd of 10,000 fans that came out to cheer the 21 teams in the race. This time they raised $800 for charity. Ever since the second year, the crowd and number of teams in the race have continued to increase.

Teams consist of five members, including four racers and one rider. The speed takes the ultimate checkered flag while top award of the day is for decor, engineering, crowd favorite and just plain funniest. Teams race in four different divisions- Men, Women, Co-ed, and corporate. Some racers go for speed and some race for show, but all racers go to raise for a charity.

In 2015, they are empowering runners with an opportunity to raise awareness, fundraise, and race for the nonprofit of their choice as an individual or as a team. If you are going to work that hard in bed, you might as well do something athletic and entertaining.

Team of bed racers take of quick at the start of the race. From
Team of bed racers take of quick at the start of the race. From

Ever since the early 1980’s an annual award has been presented to the most entertaining team and the organizers started to issue an annual theme as well. The dual nature of Bed Racing was established to be partly an entertainment that partly is for a athletics challenge that has remained ever since. Though there is always a difference between entertainers and athletics, most try to do well in both categories.  All teams are very competitive and are always trying to beat rival racers, or individual past times. If this sounds like a great way for you to be competitive and athletic, then bring a team to have some fun.  Are you in or are you out?


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