Day at the races: Grab a bed and go wild in benefit sports event

For those who hated making their beds as kids, it’s payback time. Make the craziest, sloppiest bed you want — in just 10 minutes — during San Francisco’s first-ever Bed Race for the Future.

Gary Weiner

It’s all for a good cause.

With the clock ticking, teams of six — four pushers, one rider and an alternate — will have to creatively decorate a mattress, box spring and bed frame on wheels, and race against hundreds of competitors in the hopes of garnering a plethora of zany accolades.

Benefiting the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in Northern California and the NFL Alumni Caring for Kids, the first-ever Bed Race for the Future will start 10:30 a.m. Sept. 26 at Marina Middle School in San Francisco. Deadline for registration is Sept. 18.

“It’s like Bay to Breakers on wheels,” said Gary Wiener, one of the event organizers. “People will be there to have fun, to self-promote or both.”

Hundreds of spectators are expected to watch the revelry in action. So far, thematic restaurants Hooters and Asia SF, lingerie stores, fraternities and sororities from U.C. Berkeley, Stanford University and University of San Francisco, and the armed forces have signed up to compete, with the list likely to grow.

Financial services firm Morgan Stanley, San Jose State University’s wrestling team, Noe’s Nest Bed and Breakfast and Greene Radovsky Maloney Share and Hennigh LLP also will field teams. 

The races will close with the awarding of several medals, including the Golden Spring award for the best bed design, the King Coil award for the team that brings in the largest donation and the Broken Spring award for the group that begs, “What were they thinking?”

Wiener anticipates more than 100 teams will participate, each one paying $181 to enter. Add in “some sponsorship dough,” he said, and the event could take in close to $20,000. Infineon Raceway and Sleep Train are the main sponsors, and KGO News Radio 810 is slated to present and also enter a couple of teams, spearheaded by talk show host Ronn Owens and radio journalist Gil Gross.  

And if the sponsor doesn’t want to actually race, several local high school students are set to pick up the slack. All participants must be 16 or older, but anyone can watch.

“We’re trying to reach out to a younger constituency,” said Wiener, noting one of the goals of Hall of Fame president Jack Anderson. “This event is designed for the 20-somethings, 30-somethings and 40-somethings.”

Unlike a soapbox derby where you have to make your car from the bottom up, teams will be provided with the basics: a mattress, box spring, frame and wheels. Teams are expected to make their beds as crazy as they want, and designate a rider.

“Pushing someone on top of a bed, people get a kick out of this,” Wiener said with a laugh. “You’re also raising money for two good causes.” 

Bed Race for the Future starts 10:30 a.m. Sept. 26 at Marina Middle School, 3500 Fillmore St., S.F. For information and registration, call (408) 374-1600.