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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Time to get up and build a bed racer


Some say the Jaycees entry with Frank E. Fling is comprised of a bunch of hot doggers.

The Naperville Jaycees have set the time to rise and shine for the 2014 Last Fling Bed Races. Bed Racers will begin their competitive push at 11AM Sat., Aug. 30, on the roadway between Porter Avenue and the Naperville Central High School Parking Lot, just south of Naper Settlement.

At the July monthly meeting of the Jaycees, 2014 Bed Race Chairman Paul Nottoli noted that four entries already have been registered online. This year, bed racing teams can enter free of charge. No fee. Simply pre-register by Aug. 27 and build a bed racer according to the specifications at the bottom of this post.

Touted as one of the most popular attractions to kick off the first full day of the four-day festival, the Bed Races have been canceled for the past two years on account of a stormy forecast and down right rain. Organizers hope the third time is charmed with sunshine so creativity can meet up with safety features for an hour of competitive entertainment, sure to please all ages.

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In 2011, Team Rotary Club of Naperville/Sunrise promised to be back in force.

And perhaps the Nuns on the Run from St. Patrick’s Residence can defend their first-place title during this 50th anniversary year of celebrations at the nursing and rehabilitation facility for the elderly.

St. Patrick’s Residence has been a contender since Bed Races were featured at Naper Days a decade ago.

Over the years, teams have built engineering masterpieces and then some, sponsored by families, businesses, nonprofit groups, service organizations, churches and clubs to compete for the fastest times. Dressed in wild and crazy costumes, a specific color theme or not, five-person teams again will vie for trophies and bragging rights. This event also attracts plenty of media attention, helping entries heighten awareness for their businesses or worthy causes while supporting the good work of the Naperville Jaycees.

In 2011, bed racers from Community Christian Church matched up against Team Subber.

The designs of the bed racers always have been among the most innovative features of the Last Fling, the annual four-day family-friendly festival with many events and activities all along the Jackson Avenue, the Riverwalk and Rotary Hill as well as throughout Naper Settlement.

The Bed Races along Porter Avenue, weather permitting, attract hundreds of cheering spectators for the fun and frolic of the day. No snoozing allowed.

When Frank E. Fling just couldn’t catch up, the 2011 Nuns on the Run entry, pictured at left, went on to become the defending Bed Race Champion.

Stay tuned for updates.  Meanwhile, it’s time to get up to speed and plan to build a bed racer. Entry is free of charge.

For the complete schedule of events and activities that will be hosted by the Naperville Jaycess throughout the year, check www.lastfling.org.

Online registration is required at http://www.lastfling.org/special_events.cfm. Simply scroll to the bottom of the page on the Last Fling events page to enter.

Naperville Jaycees Last Fling Bed Race Rules and Regulations 

The following rules and regulations are intended to promote fairness among competitors.  All rules, regulations, and time schedules must be adhered to.  Failure to observe the rules and/or the instructions from Race Officials may result in your team’s disqualification from the race.  Registration, free of charge,  must be turned in by the deadline, Aug. 27, 2014, to be eligible for the race.  —Naperville Jaycees Last Fling Committee / Bed Races

The Bed Racer Team

  • Bed Race teams are responsible for the safe construction and operation of their beds.  Unsafe beds jeopardize not only the safety of the team members, but also the safety of the other competitors and spectators.
  • A team must have five (5) participants or members.  One (1) person must ride the bed, and the other four (4) other team members push the bed.  The runners can be two on each side or all four together.
  • The same 5 people must be used in each heat throughout the competition.  A team may have an alternate member that can be a substitute runner or rider in case of injury.
  • Use of a helmet is mandatory for the rider (passenger). Everyone’s safety is a primary goal of the race.
  • Team pushers cannot have flip-flops, sandals, or bare feet.
  • At least two or the team members must be 18 years of age or older.  The passenger must be at least 16 years of age.  Consent of parent or guardian is required for anyone under 18.
  • All participants must follow instructions of the Race Officials.
  • Teams must arrive 45 minutes prior to the scheduled start time for team sign-in.
  • Each participant must sign a waiver form on the day of the race, including alternate members.

The Bed Racer

  • Each team is responsible for providing their own bed that meets the official specifications.
  • The bed must use a twin mattress or larger, and the overall size should not exceed 48” wide (excluding the push bars) x 84” long.  No youth beds, cribs, or child mattresses will be allowed.
  • A conventional mattress or air mattress can be used.  If an air mattress is used it MUST be fully inflated.
  • The bed height (top of the mattress) must be 48” or lower
  • The bed must have four wheels (one at each corner- no less and no more)
  • Maximum wheel diameter can be no more than 36”
  • The organization or team name must be displayed on the bed and securely fastened.
  • The bed wheels may be fixed or swivel, but no steering mechanism is allowed
  • Push bars are allowed, but cannot exceed a total width or 98” (8 feet)
  • The bed must have no means of mechanical propulsion, only human power is allowed.
  • Decorated beds are highly encouraged. No sharp objects, projections, or anything dangerous will be allowed. Use common sense!
  • Bed inspections will take place before the race during the team sign-in to make sure the bed conforms to the specifications.
  • A bed that does not meet the specifications will have the opportunity to be fixed or altered prior to the race start time.  If a correction cannot be made, the team will be disqualified (no refund of registration fee).

And, of course, The Bed Race

  • The course is a straight 50 yards down a stretch of Porter Avenue, directly south of the Naper Settlement.
  • The beds will be raced in heats (two at a time).  Double or single elimination will be based on the number of entries.
  • Each team must start the race from a still (stopped) position. Teammates cannot use a running start across the start line, and they cannot rock the bed back and forth in time with “On your mark, get set, go!”
  • The bed and/or runners cannot cross the centerline of the racecourse.
  • Team members cannot interfere with their opponents in any way during the race.
  • The point of the bed that extends the furthest in the front will be aligned with the starting line (not necessarily the front wheels) to compensate for differences in bed construction.  The same front point will be used to judge the finish.
  • The two judges standing at the finish line will determine the winner of each heat.

To register, visit www.lastfling.org/special_events.cfm and scroll to the bottom of the page. All registration (free of charge) is required in advance by Wed., Aug. 27, 2014, via the online form. Thanks!

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PN Editor
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