The 2014 race will be run on Saturday 14 June says Gordon Renton, the Lions’ Chairman of the Bed Race organising committee.
Gordon Renton said:
We always pick a strong theme to allow participating teams to have full rein in exercising their creativity when decorating their beds and themselves. The broader the subject matter the better the spectacle.
We think there is plenty of scope with characters from children’s TV and films for some wonderfully original decorations, and we encourage teams to think outside the box – in all ways!
One of the main attractions for the large number of people who flock to the town for Bed Race is the sheer quality, imagination and variety of the dressed beds and teams. Together with the marching bands, dance groups and supporters they lend a unique carnival atmosphere to one of the largest amateur sporting events in the country.
The 2014 running of the Great Knaresborough Bed Race will be the 49th in an unbroken sequence going back to 1966. The event has spawned other bed races elsewhere in the UK, Germany, the USA and New Zealand.
The pageant of the decorated beds is one half of the event; the second involves the teams pushing their beds and passengers over a 2.4 mile course covering Conyngham Hall Park, along Waterside and through the Nidd Gorge, up the steep ascent to the Castle and around the cobblestones in the centre of town, before hurtling down the High Street, Bond End and across High Bridge. The race finishes with a 20-yard swim across the River Nidd, beds, runners, passengers and all.
The 2013 Bed Race was held on a warm, sunny day which drew out one of the largest ever crowds, estimated at over 30,000 people. It is believed to have raised £100,000 for charitable and community causes.
The Knaresborough Lions are a volunteer group and draw in hundreds of helpers to prepare the course, marshal the crowds and organise the teams. Each year, 90 teams of six runners and a passenger take part.
As always, teams can apply to enter from 1 January 2014 with a closing deadline of the end of February. Entry forms, rules and other information are available on the event’s website www.knaresboroughco.uk/bedrace