June 12, 2010

1 Knaresborough Bed Race

Knaresborough is a fairly good sized town just outside of Harrogate.   
I'd been hearing about the annual bed race for a few months now, so I had to check it out. 

This was the first group of women- in about 8th place, which the British family I was standing with said was impressive.  We didn't see any other female teams for about another 20 groups- so I understood the extra applause for this group.   Unfortunately the first few pictures are fuzzy, I had my camera on the wrong setting and didn't notice because I was too busy learning about the race from the family.

At the end of the race the teams have to swim across the river, so many of them include buoyancy aids.  This group went all out with a kayak- smart, but I don't think it's a "bed"!!

The teams all wore matching t-shirts, either with their name, charity, or sponsor on them.   This team's shirts say "Lock, Stock, and six floating barrels".  The woman sitting has a different "and..." but unfortunately it's blocked in this image.  

More clever buoyancy aids.  Most teams had a child as their sitting team member, for weight, although some had a woman and a few teams rotated out the position for rest.   The children almost all had life vests and helmets on, and most had an air horn or something to keep their team going.

There were several teams of teenagers.

Many teams, male and female, used two of their six racers to pull with make-shift harnesses.  These were usually buoyancy-type bands, like the things lifeguards have. 

Several teams went beyond matching t-shirts and had fun costumes.

I was on the only long and straight drag of the course, so I saw a lot of passing or attempts to pass.

The only casualty I saw- the man on the left seemed pretty sick.  His team went on without him, although that disqualified them from placing (they were in the bottom half anyway).

One of two groups of teenage girls I saw.  Impressive!

Waaaaay in the end.

Just a shot of the river- they actually crossed it behind me, but I got there too late to get any shots.   That's where I'll stand next year, though- I want to see them swim!

Overall it was a fun event.  Between the World Cup starting today for England and the race, the whole town was turned out and festive.  I did wish there were actual beds, though, since I pictured something more like Bedknobs and Broomsticks !

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