Breaking News Bar
posted: 8/28/2013 6:00 AM

'Fast and fun' time in store at Naperville bed races

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Teams get creative with the design and themes of their "beds" during the annual Last Fling Bed Races in Naperville. The races are set to begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31.

      Teams get creative with the design and themes of their "beds" during the annual Last Fling Bed Races in Naperville. The races are set to begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31.
    Daily Herald file photo

  • Sister Raphael Schmitz of the St. Patrick's Nuns on the Run team wins the Bed Races at the 2011 Last Fling near downtown Naperville. The church often recruits Benedictine University athletes to propel the bed during the annual event.

       Sister Raphael Schmitz of the St. Patrick's Nuns on the Run team wins the Bed Races at the 2011 Last Fling near downtown Naperville. The church often recruits Benedictine University athletes to propel the bed during the annual event.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

 
 

Of all the things that can be raced -- cars, boats, bikes, airplanes and even rubber ducks -- beds seem an unlikely candidate.

But beds will be the front-runners, the last-place finishers and all the middle-of-the-pack competitors as the annual Bed Races take to the street during the Naperville Jaycees' Last Fling.

Homemade "beds" -- actually "anything that has four posts and a flat surface" -- will be shooting down Porter Avenue just south of Naper Settlement beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, said Karen Coleman, a Jaycees member and Last Fling spokeswoman.

Four runners power each bed carrying one or two riders as teams face off in head-to-head 100-foot sprints for prizes and citywide bragging rights.

"You have one rider, sometimes two, depending on what your bed actually is. It doesn't necessarily need to be a bed," Coleman said. "You can decorate it however you want, make it your own thing, however crazy that may be."

Coleman said teams registered to race aren't given any bed-making materials, so creativity runs wild as themes such as "The Grateful Bed" and "Nuns on the Run" develop along with beds made to look like Santa's sleigh, a lemonade stand or a flying carpet.

"As long as you don't have very many vertical components to it, it should be pretty steady and aerodynamic," she said.

Some bed riders wear helmets to protect themselves, while one traditionally wears a hot dog suit. Last Fling mascot Frank E. Fling started participating in the event on a Jaycees team about two years ago. Coleman said he's been a hit ever since among the large crowds that leave the rest of the festival in Naper Settlement and along Jackson Avenue to watch the racers run.

"The kids really loved seeing the giant hot dog rolling down the road," Coleman said. "It's fast and it's fun, and it's always a good time."

Share

Interested in reusing this article?

Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.

The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.

Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Name * Company Telephone * E-mail *

Message (optional)

Success - Reprint request sent Click to close
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here