How the wheels came off Knaresborough’s bid to win bed race
Jun 12, 2023
Knaresborough Striders bed race
Knaresborough Striders in full throttle mode on Saturday.

Knaresborough’s hopes of a home town bed race winner ended in bizarre fashion on Saturday when their bed malfunctioned early in the race.

The town has proudly hosted the whacky annual event since 1966 but its men’s running club, Knaresborough Striders, has never won.

The club’s fastest runners trained hard in the months leading up to the 2.4-mile race in the hope of putting that right.

They lined-up third on the grid behind defending champions GH Brooks and Ripon Runners, confident they could mount a challenge in what is a fiercely contested event amongst local running clubs.

But hardly had the team got out the traps at Conyngham Hall than its bed started wobbling and shortly afterwards a wheel seized up completely on Waterside.

As other teams raced by, their hopes of victory shattered, they ditched the bed, sprinted along Waterside to collect a spare bed one of the team had at their nearby home and rejoined the race.

They managed a remarkable 16 minutes and 12 seconds, which would have been good enough for 10th place, but it is not listed among the official results because the spare bed did not have a timing chip.

Guy Close, chairman of Knaresborough Striders, hailed the “incredible team spirit” shown at a time of crushing disappointment. He said:

“This was the first time a team has ever had to stop and then replaced its bed mid-race.

“We were all absolutely gutted because we hoped to challenge the top couple of teams, but these things happen.”

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Knaresborough Striders bed race

A still from the bed camera showing the team marooned on Waterside.

This video shot by a camera on board the bed captured the team’s bad luck. Mr Close said:

“The bed broke almost immediately. You can hear from the link to the YouTube video that it wasn’t right from the start.

“We were all so determined and the support from the crowds was incredible.”

Full results of this year’s bed race are available here.