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MCCARTHY: Zooming through Bed Races

Photo by Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Photo by Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

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Imagine zooming past other people down 12th Street. Now imagine you’re on a mattress with four wheels, the whole road is blocked off and you’re racing against Marquette students and alumni in a winner-take-all competition.

Friday, Oct. 7, I gathered up four close friends and we did just that when we signed up for the Homecoming weekend Bed Races. For the first time since 1993, Marquette University hosted Homecoming weekend and one of the highlights was racing beds against teams with some amazing people, costumes and even President Lovell.

Our team name was the Lil Bees and we wore yellow and black to show our enthusiasm. All 23 teams this year were charged with passion and spirit for Marquette and they included groups such as the Trophy Wives, Markie Mark and the Funkie Bunch, Not Real Chili, UA Money Train $$, The Power Nap, Squoga and the Holy Sheets just to name a few. Team Lovell was a surprising and delightful feature of the races, with President Lovell running and pushing his comrades to the finish line. It was nice to see our president interacting with students and staff in this engaging and innovative way.

The races were divided into eight heats, three semifinals and a championship round to declare the winner. There were three beds in the races, named Ahoya, Golden Eagle and Father Marquette. My team rode the Golden Eagle and as the DJ music was pulsing in the background, my adrenaline levels were rising and we were ready to win.

As I pushed the bed back to start with my teammates, I ran over my foot and ankle. It definitely hurt, but thank goodness I was wearing sneakers.

The announcer shouted, “Mattresses on the mark…” I didn’t hear the rest because I was so excited, but I did hear, “Go!”

All of a sudden we were moving quite fast. The metal bed-frame with wheels proved to be heavy, but my friends charged on. My roommate Sophia Pizzo, a junior in the College of Communication, and I rode in the bed while our three determined friends, Caitlin De Bruin, a junior in the College of Business Administration, Hannah Pollack, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences and Aditi Narayan, a sophomore in the College of Education, ran and pushed as fast as they could. We took third place, but we loved every minute of it.

Each team showed incredible perseverance and strength. Nine teams moved into the semifinals with OMC Avengers, The Power Nap and Senior Challenge in the lead.

After the races were done, we all rushed to the jumbotron to see how the results stacked up. Even though we didn’t win anything, we knew it was all in good fun and we would definitely enter again now that we know what we should do next time.

One of the first things we would do is wear crazier costumes. Teams went all out for this event. I saw people in green clothes with big green streamers on their heads, tin foil halos for a futuristic theme, some colorful superheroes and even some full body costumes modeled after a T. Rex, a shark and a sailor.

Next year, I want to get some physically strong people on my team to push us to victory. Despite being sprinters and exercising frequently, my teammates were no match for the speedy students and alumni that whooshed past us with sonic speed.

The Bed Races event was a fun, unique and satisfying experience. I recommend it to everyone. Our community is what makes us so strong and although we are diverse, it’s events like these where we come together. I look forward to many more opportunities to race and celebrate in the future.

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