Team Valhalla's Viking Warrior sprints fast toward the the end in the final. Valhalla's Viking Warrior beat Way 2 SeXC in the final and won the champion in 2021 Bed Race. (Xinzhao Li/B&W Staff)

Bed races held on Packer Avenue for the first time


Hundreds of Lehigh students crowded around Packer Avenue to watch the annual bed races, a historic Rivalry week tradition, on Nov. 17. 

Bed race competitors ran dressed as dinosaurs, Teletubbies, vikings and more. Refreshments were provided to spectators by the Alumni Student Association. 

For the first time ever, beds were pushed down Packer Avenue rather than Memorial Drive. 

In the 80s and 90s, beds were constructed by students and driven down the hill but it was deemed unsafe and the tradition was halted for several years. The tradition picked up again in 2007 and has grown in popularity ever since. 

This year, 30 teams competed in a single-elimination tournament bracket with two teams competing against each other at a time. At the event it was announced that there were more teams in attendance this year than any year prior. 

Teams consisting of members from LUPD, Lehigh After Dark, athletic teams and Greek organizations all entered the competition. 

A team from the Health and Wellness Center also entered the bed races, decked out in medical wear. 

Sam Claudio, a nurse, was a member of the HWC team this year. He said there are a lot of new members at the center and they joined the bed races as a team-building event. 

“We wanted to show our love for Lehigh University,” Claudio said. 

Claudio said his favorite part of the night was being able to see all the students and costumes. 

The eventual winner of the tournament was the team, “Valhalla’s Viking Warrior,” who beat “Way 2 SeXC” in a final race that came down the last few yards. A trophy was given to each member of the winning team. 

Ben Berven, ‘24, of the Valhalla’s Viking Warrior team, said, “This is a classic Lehigh event, Le-Laf, we gotta go all out for it.” 

Berven said his favorite part of the night was beating one of the hockey bed race teams that his friends were part of. He further said crossing the finish line in the finals was another highlight. 

“There is no other feeling like that,” Berven said. “That was just pure elation.”

Lehigh President Joseph Helble, ’82, was in attendance and addressed the crowds of students. 

Helble said there was more student participation this year than when he was at Lehigh as a student. 

“I am thrilled to be here,” Helble said. “It’s such an important part of Lehigh-Lafayette week.”

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