Marquette Wire

Bed races highlight homecoming shenanigans

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Normally, when crossing 12th Street and heading to a Friday afternoon class, the only things students have to watch out for are cars, buses and the occasional biker. But this Friday, students, staff, faculty and alumni will be speeding down 12th street in wheeled beds for the second installment of the homecoming week hit: bed races.

Bed racing teams are made up of five members: three people pushing and two people on the bed itself. There are different timed heats, with winners advancing to semifinals and finals. In order to make the event more fun and represent team spirit, teams come up with creative themes and wacky costumes.

Adam Kouhel, a senior in the College of Business Administration, will be racing with a group of seniors looking to raise money ($20.18 a student—their graduation year) to go toward a senior class gift that will support incoming students with financial aid and scholarships. The costume the group of seniors chose is tucked in shorts, white Reebok shoes and tall socks to look just like the on-campus “senior citizens” they are. To make sure the costumes are perfect, they have asked for a little help from their own grandparents.

“We’re going to be taking a trip to Goodwill and talking to our grandparents,” Kouhel said.

Faculty and administration teams are also planning costumes to show their team spirit. Alex Busbee, interactive marketing designer in the office of marketing and communications, will be partaking in the bed races with other members of his administrative office. Because it is a bed race, Busbee’s team is opting for a sleeping-related theme: bed bugs. Each team member will put together a costume that resembles a different bug.

“A lot of my teammates are parents,” Busbee said. “So, they have a lot of different Halloween costumes, parts and pieces, so we kind of just throw together what we can.”

As far as strategy, there is actually quite a bit of planning that goes into the races. The team members riding in the beds themselves must keep the wheels and the bed’s path straight with a steering wheel. Those pushing must balance the weight they put into pushing the handlebars and how much energy they put into their legs.

The competition is going to be tight. Every team has their eyes set on winning.

Kouhel, who raced last year with Marquette University Student Government, has high expectations for his team this year.

“Last year we made it to the semifinals,” Kouhel said. “But this year, since we’re the most experienced students on campus, we expect to make it to the finals and win.”

Busbee has a similar mindset for his team.

“I’m pretty confident,” Busbee said. “Last year we had the best time, but I think we kind of overexerted (ourselves) in the first leg, and we had an injury in the second one, so we got beat in the second round.”

While all teams are shooting for first place, there will be one competitor that everyone hopes to triumph over: University President Michael Lovell. Kouhel is feeling positive about his chances. “I joked with Dr. Lovell last year that I was going to beat him, obviously wasn’t successful, but this year Dr. Lovell knows that we’re coming back and we’re coming back strong,” he said.

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