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Teams preparing for rough street race

As duels to the death go, it won't quite cut it, but if you're looking for a spectator sport that's sure to generate laughs, you may want to secure you're viewing spot early for what's bound to be a fun community sporting event.
ATCO Electric bed builders Real Hebert, left, and Gord Zaboschuk work on constructing their team’s wheeled entry into the Great Bonnyville Bed Race.
ATCO Electric bed builders Real Hebert, left, and Gord Zaboschuk work on constructing their team’s wheeled entry into the Great Bonnyville Bed Race.

As duels to the death go, it won't quite cut it, but if you're looking for a spectator sport that's sure to generate laughs, you may want to secure you're viewing spot early for what's bound to be a fun community sporting event.

That event, the Great Bonnyville Bed Race, will make its debut on Main Street Bonnyville on May 29 at 10:30 a.m., just prior to the annual rodeo parade.

Four teams will be piloting self-built beds on a one-block stretch of Main Street — with racers racing up and back the stretch between Hamels Meat Shop and Brosseau's Department Store.

The spectacle that's bed racing should feature some serious body/bed contact, not to mention a little trash talking.

Just ask Ron Briscoe, one of the ATB Financial team members whose claiming his team may embarrass opponents.

“Just think how humiliating it would be for one of the other teams to lose to a bunch of skinny, dorky, pasty-faced bankers, weakened by years of fluorescent lighting and counting other people's money. For the sake of their reputations, they'd better pray they beat us,” says Briscoe.

The folks at ATCO Electric are planning to do just that. They were working on design and assembly of their super fast machine last week in the secret shop area.

They allowed a Nouvelle photographer only a brief glance of what they were working on, so serious were they about building a winning craft to run over the bankers and sweep past the folks from STARS Air Ambulance and B & R Eckel's Transport.

Of course there's more to the race than bragging rights. There's the very important — perhaps the thing that really matters — fundraising component of the race.

The teams are looking not only to outrace each other, but also to out fundraise each other.

They're looking to raise as much as they can for Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation, which supports the hospital's programs and its patients.

Stollery is the primary acute care centre for children in Northern Alberta, and Western Canada's major referral centre for pediatric heart surgery.

Race fans are being encouraged to bring toonies to donate on behalf of their favourite team. They can also bring water pistols and balloons to cheer the teams on and have a little fun.

The race even has its own website — www.bonnyvillebedrace.com — where you can check out the rules and all the technical things the brute-strength racers and aspiring engineers have to pay attention to.

Things like the how many pushers you can have, and just how you can steer your bed.

The inspiration for the race, says Briscoe, came from other similar events, and he's hoping the local race will seriously catch on here.

Here's to bed bashing ahead.