Bed Race Rules

The rules for Bed Race 2020 are below. You can also download the rules as a pdf file.

Note: Rules that have changed since 2019 are underlined.

The Team

  1. Each team must provide the name and contact details of two adult (18 years or above) marshals at the time of their application to take part in the race. On the day of the race, the team's marshals must report to the marshal reception point in the Castle grounds, and then to their appointed lead marshal at an assigned location, at the instructed times. Failure to do so may lead to disqualification of the team.
  2. The bed and runners must be decorated in accordance with the theme of that year’s Bed Race. Failure to do so leads to disqualification.
  3. The bed and team will take part in the parade and must at all times follow the requests of the marshals and race officials.
  4. A male running team (whether adult or junior) will have 6 male runners, and a female running team will have 6 female runners. A mixed team will have up to 3 males with the remainder females. (So a team with 4 male and 2 female runners, or 5 male and 1 female runners, is classified as a male team.) Each team also has one passenger, who may be either male or female regardless of whether the runners are male, female or mixed.
  5. All runners in a junior team must be in school years 8 to 11 inclusive to qualify for entry.
  6. The passenger must be no younger than 10 years old (school year 6) and all passengers must wear protective headgear and lifejackets throughout the race.
  7. No substitutions will be allowed during the race.
  8. It is forbidden for anyone except the designated passenger to ride on the bed.
  9. All competitors (both runners and passengers) must be able to swim.
  10. During the race all beds must keep to the left unless overtaking, or unless requested to do otherwise by race officials.
  11. The throwing of objects or liquids is extremely dangerous and is strictly forbidden. Failure to comply leads to disqualification.
  12. No alcohol is to be consumed by the team runners until after the race has ended. Any team found to be under the influence of alcohol will be disqualified and banned from future races.
  13. The team must be able to complete the course within 30 minutes. Teams are expected to check before the day that they are able to do this.
  14. The Bed Race is a family event, and all members of the team and parade must conduct themselves appropriately at all times, e.g. no swearing or inappropriate gestures. The organisers reserve the right to withdraw a team at any point for inappropriate behaviour.
  15. Each team must have a named Captain who takes responsibility for ensuring the safety of the team during the parade and the race.
  16. To qualify for the Fastest New Team competition, the team MUST be a first time entry and no team member must have competed in a previous Bed Race.
  17. To qualify for the Non-Club Team competition, no team member can belong to an England Athletics-affiliated club.
  18. All teams are to complete a Team Detail Sheet to show any change from the Original Entry Form. This is to have signed parental consent for ALL runners and passengers who are aged 16 or under. The Detail Sheet will be issued in the team pack at the team brief and must be handed in to the scrutineers on the day. If your team changes category from your original entry form due to changes in runners, you must inform the organisers at least 48 hours before the start of the race; otherwise you will not be eligible for a category prize.
  19. The provided wrist bands must be worn by all team members and the two helpers throughout the day. Only the team and two helpers will be allowed into the race start point at Conyngham Hall.
  20. At least one member of the team must attend the team briefing and collect the team pack. Any trophies won during previous year’s event must be returned at or before the team briefing.

The Bed

  1. Each team must provide:
    • a bed decorated in the theme for the year
    • an audible air horn / hooter
    • a helmet for the passenger
    • a lifejacket for the passenger.
  2. When decorated, the bed must not exceed 2 metres in width, 4 metres in length and 3 metres in height.
  3. Decorations must be removed from the bed before the start of the race.
  4. The bed must have no means of mechanical propulsion.
  5. All beds must have been examined and passed by the scrutineers before the start of the race.
  6. The bed numbers must be attached to the float prior to the parade and reused for the race. Five race numbers must be displayed: one on the front of the bed, one on each side of the bed, and one on each side of the passenger’s helmet. It is the team captain’s responsibility to ensure that these numbers stay attached until after the bed crosses the finish line.
  7. Each bed must have a built-in buoyancy aid capable of supporting the bed and the passenger for not less than five minutes, and have an aperture large enough to allow the passenger to escape quickly if required.
  8. Each bed must:
    1. have four wheels of not more than 260mm in diameter including tyres, and a minimum tyre width of 55mm
    2. allow a gauge of 150mm by 450mm wide to pass under the bed in the direction of travel (i.e. ground clearance of 150mm and the wheels must be at least 450mm apart, side to side)
    3. allow a gauge of 150mm by1250mm long to pass under the bed at 90 degrees to the direction of travel (i.e. ground clearance of 150mm and the wheels must be at least 1250mm apart, front to rear)
    4. have a minimum length of 1750mm and a minimum width of 750mm
    5. have a maximum length of 3.0m and a maximum width of 1.35m two ropes, not more than 3.5 metres in length, may be attached to the front of the bed. These must not be secured to any member of the team. No ropes are to be attached to the rear of the bed. Ropes must not include loops or knots along any part of their length or at the end not attached to the bed. Beds may be inspected more than once so please do not tie loops or knots after original scrutineering.