The Great Knaresborough Bed Race has been held every year since 1966, always on the second Saturday in June. It is a mighty pageant of decorated beds, passengers and runners, combined with a gruelling athletic contest around a course of 2.4 miles. It is organised by volunteers from the Knaresborough Lions to raise funds to meet local charitable and community needs.

Safety is an important aspect of the Great Knaresborough Bed Race – and something the Lions organising team takes very seriously.

With 30,000 people lining the 2.4 mile course, 80 teams of competitors – and a final 30-yard swim through the River Nidd’s icy waters, every element of the day is checked and double checked.

The streets throbbed with noise as the 2022 Knaresborough Lions Parade and Bed Race thrilled the crowds. This year’s theme for parade entries was: The Environment: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – and the best dressed bed award went to a group of Knaresborough dads called The Rocketmen. Their steampunk inspired bed, The Magnificent Recycled Flying Machine, was quirky, fun and inspired their retro recycled outfits.

Then the race began. Teams from across the UK were ready. They raced down and up the hills of Knaresborough, through the town and on the main roads. The rumble of wheels on the beds, shouts and whistles from the crowds and the thumping feet of the runners chasing the win all added to an exciting atmosphere.

The wet and wild end to the Great Knaresborough Bed Race tests the endurance of the teams. Runners become swimmers and the rider on the bed holds tight and hopes the bed will float. Spectators line the river banks to clap and cheer the teams, including every straggler.

The 55th Great Knaresborough Bed Race was won for the 2nd time by GH Brooks coming in at 12.59 minutes (81 seconds quicker than before). Fastest all female team was Welly Wheelies.

Knaresborough Lions have fantastic support for this event. As well Lions clubs from across Yorkshire who help with the organisation, Harrogate Borough Council and the local community are thanked by Kevin Lloyd, chair of the Knaresborough Lions Bed Race. “It was an amazing day and took a real team effort.”

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Knaresborough Lions Club