Bed Race entries closing date warning

The Knaresborough Bed Race is set to return this year.

The world-famous event returns this year on Saturday 11 June after a two-year hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Spokesman Nigel Perry said: “Teams must submit their completed forms and registration fees to us, Knaresborough Lions Club, by February 28th.

“We hope that, like in the past, 90 teams with six runners and one co-driver will take part.

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“After two years of cancellation of this wonderful event, there is a certain amount of catching up to do.

“And if there are a lot of signups, we’ll try to increase the maximum field a bit.”

He added: “The Bed Race is part grueling sports competition and part costume pageant, with teams decorating their beds and themselves in the theme of the year.

“This year the theme is the environment, with a focus on reducing demand, reusing materials and recycling whenever possible.”

The event has been held since 1966 and hasn’t had to change much.

The race offers grueling athletic competition through the scenic cobbled streets and parkland of Knaresborough, up and down almost vertical hills, culminating in a swim through the always icy waters of the River Nidd.

With their beds decked out, runners, passengers and their helpers dressed in costumes inspired by the year’s theme are accompanied by local brass bands and dance groups.

Nigel added: “It’s so popular that the concept of bed racing has spawned events all over the world – Europe, North America, South Africa, Australia, Thailand and New Zealand.

“It’s a bug, almost a bed bug, you might say, and once bitten, bedrunners keep the spirit going for years.

“We have three generations of runners at Knaresborough.

“We expect 250 organizers and marshals, 630 runners and drivers and tens of thousands of spectators on this day.

“It’s good for the city and for the charities that benefit from the effort.”

Entry forms can be downloaded from the event’s website, www.bedrace.co.uk.

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