Tuesday November 15, 2011 | 03:53 PM

The distance between Earth and the Kuiper belt (a ring of debris extending between 30 and 50 AU from the Sun, like a soap ring around the bathtub of our solar system) is pretty colossal.

But you know what distance is even more prodigious? The abysmal length between the blanketed comfort of your bed and the frigid flatness of your bedroom floor. Feet are required to travel that span on a daily basis. And no matter how routine the journey seems, it's never simple. It requires effort. Some motivating self-talk. A full bladder.

It's a tough way to start the day - being forced from the warm womb of sleep and into a wicked world of tooth brushing and poorly timed traffic lights. But this weekend, locals with a penchant for their pillow top can avoid the early-morning "stay in bed vs. participate in life" dilemma during the first annual Rolling Slumber Bed Races in Brunswick.

Starting at 11 a.m. Saturday, teams of five (four runners, one rider) will battle bed-to-bed in a queen-sized race down Brunswick's Park Row. The race is part of an all-day Early Bird Sale event that begins with the sunrise at 6 a.m., when a slew of local businesses open their doors for early-rising and/or heavily coffeed shoppers. There are also cooking demonstrations at the Inn at Brunswick Station and wine tastings at Trattoria Athena Restaurant. Add a craft fair and some events for the kids, and you've got a handy gearing-up-for-Christmas afternoon at your credit-card-holding fingertips.

But back to the beds.

Each team will push their bed along the race course the old fashioned way - i.e., no engines, jet packs or other modes of propulsion. Themes are encouraged, and megaphones, whistles and other implements of distraction are a-okay. The pajamas are required.

Registration is free for this event and participants are asked to show up at 10:30 a.m. for race preliminaries (which will no doubt include a bed inspection and description of the course). The beds can be imitation, "but it must mimic a real bed with a head and footboard, needs to have four (4) legs and wheels," according to the rules.

The winner takes home the Pillow Plaque and prizes will also be given out for the fastest and the most creative teams.

And win or lose, race participants can finally put the "you won't accomplish anything staying in bed all day" fallacy to rest.

And then they can take a nap.

Rolling Slumber Bed Races, starting at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 19 at Park Row in Brunswick.
FMI: Rolling Slumber Bed Race rules and the race registration form

About the Author

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Shannon Bryan, content producer for MaineToday Media, likes exploring Maine - from mattress races to cardboard boats, she's into the weird stuff.

Karen Beaudoin, online editor for MaineToday Media, likes knowing the important things - like who's just opened their deck for a sunny afternoon beer and what Portland's eclectic set of street performers are up to.

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