YoungLife repeats as Bed Race champion


YoungLife team members Braden Gillian, from left, Gunnar Bowles, Stuart Alvey, Michael Redding, Zac Ediza and Sam Hardwick celebrate winning the 2012 Bed Race.

It wasn’t the normal traffic that tied up Logan Street the morning of June 2, as all types of beds raced up and down the Downtown Noblesville road between Eighth and Ninth streets. After the final checkered flag flew, the bed and racers from YoungLife claimed their second Bed Race title.

“It feels awesome,” said YoungLife Captain Mike Redding, whose team has not lost a race in both years of the race. “We wanted to keep the record alive. There was tough competition this year. It’s getting better and better.”

Last year, adult volunteers participated as YoungLife’s team, but this year’s racers comprised students, including five from Noblesville High School.

“We wanted to let the kids race this year,” said Redding, who was joined by Tyler Sparks, Braden Gillian, Gunnar Bowles, Stuart Alvey, Zac Ediza and Sam Hardwick. “It’s so fun to see their faces; they’re so excited about winning it brought joy to my heart. This is something we can share together – we can laugh and talk about it for years.”

Team Olympia members Joe Concannon, Jake Taylor, John Gangnon and Bryce Cambell carry Katie Souders and their bed off the track.

Redding said the team entered as a way to get the organization’s name out in the community and provide a fun experience for its high school students.

“Our organization in Noblesville started in August two years ago. The YoungLife Club meets once a week and is a Christian outreach for high school students,” he said. “We’re having an impact so far.”

In the championship race, YoungLife defeated Team Olympia, comprised of Joe Concannon, Jake Taylor, John Gangnon, Bryce Cambell and Katie Souders. Taylor, the team’s captain, said the group decided to go with the Greek Gods theme this year after being pirates with a boat-shaped bed last year.

“It’s a lot of fun. We built our bed and made our costumes with a lot of teamwork – everyone’s happy,” he said. “Being right here in downtown Noblesville, we definitely got to show off a little.”

YoungLife members push their bed to victory in the final race.

The Bed Race is organized by the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville and the Noblesville Parks and Recreation Dept. To increase the event’s exposure, the race was held the same morning as the Noblesville Lions Club Pancake Breakfast, Old Mill Festival and Nickel Plate Arts Weekend events.

“It was absolutely phenomenal and team spirit was awesome,” said Asst. Director for Noblesville Parks and Recreation Brandon Bennett. “Everything going on in Noblesville – this is why I love my hometown! We really hope to grow it a lot next year.”

Experience it yourself

Want to see what it’s like to be a rider in a bed race? Team Olympia attached a recorder during its races, and you can view the footage online at

Boys & Girls Club Unit Director Abby Stutesman was also ecstatic about the event’s second year.

“It’s 100 times better (than last year). It’s nice to be alongside other great organizations. I just think it was perfect,” she said. “I think it helps people understand what a bed race is. It’s great to be right here in front of the courthouse.”

Proceeds from the event will be used to support youth summer camp scholarships for both the Boys & Girls Club and Parks and Recreation Dept. Stutesman and Bennett said the event raised $1,000 for scholarships.

“We get more and more requests for summer camp scholarships every year,” said Bennett. “We never want to turn anyone away because they can’t afford camp. This is what being a kid is all about, experiencing everything they can experience.”