Saturday 11th June 2016 - Bed Race

Teams begin gathering in the leafy grounds of Knaresborough Castle from around 9 am. They dress their beds in the theme of the year - this year it is 'Cities of the World' - and they don fancy dress to match their designs. Each of the 90 teams have a different city, picked by lottery. Judging of the Best Dressed Bed takes place from 11 am and results are announced soon after noon.

The Parade sets off from the Castle at 1 pm, led by the Best Dressed Bed winner. Also in the Parade are team helpers, marching bands and dance groups in a fine spectacular display through the Market Place, down the High Street and Bond End and into Conyngham Hall Fields.

Here the teams divest themselves and beds of decorations and prepare for the Race itself, run as time trials with teams setting off at 10 second intervals, roughly with the fastest first. Each team is comprised by six runners and a passenger. The Race starts at 3 pm and the course leads from Conyngham Hall to Waterside and through the Nidd Gorge. The teams turn sharply left and climb the steep hill of Castle Ings and back to the Market Place. They career down High Street, Bond End and cross High Bridge on the Harrogate side of the River. They race through McIntosh Fields before swimming the River Nidd back to their starting place and the finish line.

The course is 2.4 miles long which the quickest competitors cover in under 14 minutes; the slowest in about twice this time. All of the teams are expected back before 4 pm. The organisers timekeepers work hard to announce the times and winners, hopefully by around 4.30 pm.

There is a big screen in Conyngham Hall field on which the action is shown and on which the results are posted. There is a £2 entry fee to Conyngham Hall for adults, with children of 16 getting in free. All proceeds go to charities.

Roads in and around Knaresborough are closed from around midday to 5 pm. There is a free park and ride facility provided by GSPK, Knaresborough Technology Park, ALM Manufacturing and Transdev. 

The organisers, members of the Knaresborough Lions Club, wish a wonderful day for everyone.

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