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End of an era: Turkey’s loses in Cloverdale Bed Races

Lord Tweedsmuir claims first school Bed Pan Trophy since 2016

It was the end of an era at the Cloverdale Bed Races May 18.

Turkey’s Party Makers Racing Team—10-time winners and holders of the Bed Pan Trophy for the last four races in a row—were disqualified in a semi-final heat. The loss opened the door for eventual winners Lord Tweedsmuir to emerge.

Looking to make it five in a row, and trying to tie their own record setting dynasty from the early 2010s (Turkey’s had a five-Pan run from 2010-2014), the Party-Makers runners lost slight control of their bed on the race’s final length near the finish line. The runners wound up putting two wheels on the curb. Leaving the racing area results in an instant bed race disqualification.

Atkinson Landscaping won that heat and faced Lord Tweedsmuir #1 in the final.

Initially, Lord Tweedsmuir was disqualified in the final for not getting all four of their bed’s wheels across the line at the end of the first length while transitioning to come back the other way.

“Atkinson Landscaping did the honourable thing,” explained Rick Hugh, head-race marshaller, starting-horn blower, and photo-finish finalizer. “They didn’t want to win by default. So the two teams repeated the final race.”

In that do-over, Lord Tweedsmuir #1 edged Atkinson by about a bed length to capture the infamous Bed Pan Trophy.

Hugh added he was overjoyed with how the event went overall.

“We had flying beds, flying hats, and flying people!” he exclaimed. “The 44th annual bed races was a raucous running of the beds.”

Flying people occurred when a racer in one of the women’s heats fell to the ground. She held the bed slightly too long while going down and slid longer than she should have along the road.

In another heat, a Lord Tweedsmuir student did what can only be described as a “miraculous endo.” After losing his balance while running, he amazingly launched himself forward in front of the bed while trying to stop himself from falling. Instead of being flattened by the wheels, he flew, backside over teakettle, arms flailing and legs pointing skyward—like he’d been thrown from a bull in the Stetson—bounced off his head and flipped up. Then in an act of subconscious self-preservation, he took a right turn in mid-air, then landed flush in the bed on top of the other rider. Being the first length of the race, LT switched over and completed the final length of the race with two riders.

“We’ve had wipeouts before, but we’ve never seen what happened to the one pusher from Lord Tweedsmuir,” said Hugh. “I don’t know if that was a double Axel or a triple Lutz, but he landed in the bed and they carried on.”

After having his four-race win streak broken, Turkey Kielesinski—owner of the Turkey’s Party Makers Racing Team—said the beer didn’t taste “as good” as it usually does after the races.

Turkey then blamed ownership for the Party Makers Racing Team disqualification.

“Poor maintenance. I didn’t do a good job with the bed,” he said with his signature laugh. “It had nothing to do with the runners and there’s no one to blame but me. We were having problems with the wheels and I didn’t get around to fixing them in time. Totally the owner’s fault.”

Despite the loss, Turkey thought the bed races were “fantastic.” He said he was impressed with the turnout and the number of entries in the race this year.

He added he is not going gentle into that good night of racing retirement. He’s “putting all on notice” that Turkey’s will be back next year better than ever and ready to roll, possibly with some new tech, in 2024.

“We’re going to bring out the Ferrari bed,” he said, again laughing. “We’re going to take it next year!”

Councillor Linda Annis thought this year’s race crowd was the biggest she’d ever seen.

“It’s great to see so many people out here,” she said. “So much energy. So much enthusiasm. Too bad a couple of runners took a little tumble, but I guess that’s all part of the game. But it was so much fun.”

Paul Orazietti, executive director of the BIA, the organization who’s hosted the Cloverdale Bed Races since 1976, said he’s been involved in the running of the beds for nearly two decades and has never seen a “miraculous endo” before.

“Some of the beds aren’t easy to control,” he noted. “Sometimes the momentum of the bed takes over and people can’t keep up. There have been a couple of them over the years, but nothing serious.”

“It was a great night and a great set of races,” added Hugh.

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Malin Jordan

About the Author: Malin Jordan

Malin is the editor of the Cloverdale Reporter.
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