Monday, March 10, 2014
Mattresses aren't known for their speed. They tend to be judged for comfort over miles-per-gallon. But during next Saturday's America's Mattress Race at Shawnee Peak, there will be twins, fulls and kings flying upwards of 30 miles per hour down the main slope.
Racers haul in their own mattresses for the race - and have the pleasure of dragging them up the mountain to the race start.
While costumes aren't required, many teams tend to go all-out with coil-spring creativity. Check out these photos from last year:
In 2011, a friend and I decided to tackle the mattress race for the first time. We came up with a swell idea to compete as a pesky bed bug and a heroic exterminator. Team name: Haz Mattress. And our trip downhill? Well, there was some spinning. There was a end-of-the-line spillover. There was mattress triumph.
Maybe our 12 mile-per-hour finish time didn't break any mountain records. But it's about 12 miles per hour faster than the lazy, immobile mattress I wake up on most mornings.
Last year's winning team, Tank, took the title for the third year in a row with a speed of 33.3 miles per hour. They descended with such force, their mattress nearly flew straight over the tall quarter pipe at the bottom of the course (you know, the one built to keep high speed mattresses from shooting straight into the parking lot). Spectators shrieked with delight. See the video:
Will Tank take it again this year? Will you? Race time: 1 p.m. Saturday at Shawnee Peak, Bridgton
The race course will be set up on the Main Slope and registration (from 9 a.m. to noon) costs $5 per mattress.
The mountain will dispose of your mattress if you wish, or you can bring 'er back home and mount it above the fireplace. FMI: www.shawneepeak.com/calendar
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.