The stage is set for the 2014 Great Knaresborough Bed Race, the 49th edition of this annual event, first held in 1966.
As ever, this great spectacle is in two parts: the gathering of the decorated beds and the race itself, run as a series of time trials. Everything is organised by volunteers, run by amateurs and staged to raise money for good causes.
The team that organises Bed Race, the Knaresborough Lions hope the event will bring in £100,000 for charity.
On the morning of Saturday 14 June, 90 beds of six runners and a passenger will gather at Knaresborough Castle decorated in this year’s theme – ‘Children’s TV and Film Characters’. They are judged in the morning for the Best Dressed Bed awards, won in 2013 by First Scriven Scouts, followed by Lido Loonies and St John’s Juggernauts. This year’s winners will be announced at noon, says Bed Race chairman Gordon Renton.
Gordon said: The standard gets better very year.
Nearly all of the teams come from Knaresborough, Harrogate and the immediate area and Bed Race has created a real dedicated to creating these decorations and the fancy dress worn by the teams.
It gives the town a real boost. Most of the charity funds go to local good causes and last year the Chamber of Trade said the event is worth £350,000 to businesses in and around the town.
At 1 pm the Parade will start from the Castle, taking in the High Street and Bond End before passing into the grounds of Conyngham Hall, where the decorations and fancy dress are divested to racing trim.
Gordon added: For many Bed Race watchers this Parade is the high spot. Along with the teams there are marching bands, dance groups and plenty of helpers, all dressed up. It is a fabulous sight.
During the Parade the Most Entertaining Team award is judged. Killer Queens Nippers Men won this last year.
The Race itself starts at 3 pm. Teams go off at approximately 10-second intervals, starting with those the organisers believe to be the fastest. The route takes them through the grounds of Conyngham Hall, onto Waterside and through Nidd Gorge. There are ample opportunities for overtaking at various places around the course, with the first real test being the very steep climb up to the Castle and Marketplace.
Speeds increase as the teams hurtle down High street and Bond End. They cross High Bridge and race through the parkland of McIntosh Field on the far side of the river. Then comes the greatest challenge: the 25 yard swim through the icy waters of the River Nidd for the bed, all six runners and the passenger, before slithering up the bank to the finish line.
The course is 2.4 miles long and the fastest teams do it in 13 to 14 minutes; the slowest in about half-an-hour. There are awards for the fastest team and the fastest female team, mixed team and new team, as well as fastest junior male and female teams.
Results from 2013
- Fastest team Harrogate Harriers 13 mins 10 secs
- Fastest female team Ripon Runners for Girls 16 mins 13 secs
- Fastest new team Half Moon Knaresborough Striders 16 mins 54 secs
- Fastest mixed team Wyvill’s Whirlwind 18 mins 26 secs
- Fastest male junior team 7 Peas in a Pod 16 mins 59 secs
- Fastest female junior team Knaresborough Celtic Girls 21 mins 2 secs
Bed Race 2014 Team List
CATEGORIES ARE: M – Male, F – Female, X – Mixed, c – Club Team f – Fast team, e – Entertaining Team, n – New Team, j – junior
Knaresborough Striders Men
Nidd Valley Road Runners Men ‘B’ Team
G H Brooks Blockheads
The Magnificent Seven
Harrogate Racers For A D Group Holdings Ltd
The Wacky Racers
Oatlands Infants School Mens
Ripon Runners Girls
G H Brooks Lumberjacks
The Asthmatic Ants
The Half Moon
7 Peas In A Pod
The Rocket Men
The Young Ones
Nippers Men Killer Queens
Harrogate Young Life Juniors
Knaresborough Silver Band
Scotton Scorchers JFC
The Golden Oldies
Harrogate Shotokan Karate Club
The HACS Group
The Younger Ones
Armed Forces Fitness Harrogate
Fishers Till We Die
Yorkshire Cancer Research
Commercial Estates Group
Knaresborough Town Juniors Sponsored by CNG
Harrogate Rugby Racers
P & G Team 1
Tewit Youth Band
Bingley Arms Bardsey – The Old Boys
Beech House Bandits
Taylors of Harrogate: Tea
Taylors of Harrogate: Coffee
Flying Mechanics Sponsored By HACS
Harrogate Round Table
George And Dragon
Broker Network Bounders
1st Scriven Scouts
2nd Knaresborough Rainbows
Knaresborough Celtic Girls Under 16
Lexy’s Midnight Runners
Arrow Self Drive
Oatlands Infants Ladies
Churches Together Ladies
Scotton Lingerfield Ladies
Team Red Beer
P & G Graduates
Heels On Wheels
Kippax Welfare JARLFC