Ripon Runners toast Bed Race double

Ripon Runners' victorious Bed Race teams. (S)
Ripon Runners' victorious Bed Race teams. (S)

They’ve won it before but went one better in this year’s race - Ripon Runners are double Knaresborough Bed Race champions!

The athletics club fielded two teams for the 47th legendary race around the market town, and both the men’s and ladies teams returned home victorious on Saturday.

Scooping first place overall out of 90 teams in a staggering time of 14 minutes and 43 seconds were the men’s team of Joe Lofthouse, Derek McCreadie, Simon Merrin, Alex Fawcett, Adam Johnstone and John Howarth with Jess Merrin on the bed.

This made up for the gut-wrenching race of 2011, which saw the Runners miss out by just two seconds to Harrogate Harriers.

Ripon’s Ladies team of Claire Mumford, Suzanne Rickard,Becky Turner, Emma Fawcett, Donna Ridler, Caroline Lambert and driver Chloe Dalton were clocked as the fastest female team,in 17.19, 15th overall.

Ripon’s ladies have finally broken HPL Flyers’ run of 12 successive victories.

As part of this year’s Olympic theme, the teams and beds were dressed as Croatia and Lithuania.

Ripon Runners have won the Bed Race twice in recent years.

Their men’s teams have claimed victory in 2010 and 2008.

Chairman Chris Bennett summed up the club’s pride.

He said: “ It is an absolutely fantastic, historic result for our athletic club, in winning both the Men’s and Women’s races.

It is such a well deserved reward for all the hard work those involved put into the event, with many evenings training before the actual race.

“I am bowled over - it’s such a wonderful result for the club and the city of Ripon.”

Simon Merrin added: “It was a fantastic day and the crowds were brilliant” while Claire Lambert said: “We are now already relishing the challenge of next year’s race.”