WITH just a few days to go, the 2012 Great Knaresborough Bed Race, now in its 47th year, is set to take place on Saturday, June 9.
90 teams selected by lottery from over 120 entries will be out pounding the streets of Knaresborough, not to mention taking a chilly dip in the waters of the River Nidd as they race towards the finishing line at Conyngham Hall.
Thousands of people are expected to watch the spectacle and 630 racers, 200 marchers, 250 volunteer marshals and helpers will be taking part on the day.
The Mayor of Knaresborough, Coun John Batt will start the race at 3pm but before that at 1pm, there will be a parade of decorated beds through Knaresborough town centre from the Castle dressed in this year’s theme of Olympic Nations.
For the first time, organisers the Lions, are ensuring the presence of a ‘wheel doctor’ at Conyngham Hall with the service provided by long term sponsors, Piccadilly Motors.
“After all that training and the excitement on the day, what could be worse than a flat tyre minutes before the race?” said Piccadilly Motors’ managing director Simon Watts. “Last year we saw several teams struggle to start because of tyre problems, so this year one of our technicians will be on hand to help out.
“Piccadilly Motors are delighted to be supporting the Great Knaresborough Bed Race for the fifteenth year in succession. This event has gone from strength to strength and we are proud to be a part of its success.”
Meanwhile, teams have been seen out and about in the town practising.
John Dickson, Lions’ coordinator with the teams said: “I haven’t yet seen anyone in the river myself, but there have been reports of sightings of folk climbing dripping from the banks.
“Luckily, the Nidd isn’t swollen, though we did have a fair amount of rain at the beginning of the month and, of course, bucketloads in April. Hopefully, we won’t have torrential downpours as has happened once or twice before. It will take something special if the river rises and runs so fast we have to abandon the swim. That has happened only twice in all Bed Race’s 46 years, but we have a contingency plan in place just in case.”
For more information about the Bed Race, visit the website by clicking here.