UK: Hundreds race BEDS through muddy Yorkshire river

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Thousands flocked to Knaresborough, Yorkshire, on Saturday, despite the wet weather, to watch teams of brave, or bonkers, competitors race their way through the muddy waters of the River Nidd and through the town during its annual ‘Bed Race.’

Around 35,000 visitors gathered to watch the peculiar race and cheer on the 90 teams who descended into the river, after being judged for the “Best dressed bed” awards, which this year went under the theme of “Yorkshire.”

Racers made their way into the muddy waters, struggling as more people than previous years crowded into the river, as many claimed.

“The course was fine, but the river course was a nightmare, because there were so many people. We were in that for about three times as long as we should have been. And it’s cold, very cold”, said one of the participants.

The day had a carnival atmosphere with teams and locals parading in costumes throughout Knaresborough’s streets, accompanied by the sound of bagpipes and bands playing.

Each year, more and more teams seek to enter to the race, leading organisers to a capping of 90 teams, as Secretary of the Lions Club of Knaresborough, who organise the event, Nigel Perry explained: “We have 90 teams every year. We pick them by lottery, ’cause we get more entries than that and each team is of six runners and a passenger.”

The Knaresborough Bed Race has been taking place for 54 years, with the first edition held in 1966.

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