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Shannon Bryan

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Out Going with Shannon Bryan
Posted: March 28, 2011

Mattress, meet mountain: America's Mattress Race at Shawnee Peak

Mattresses aren’t known for their speed. They tend to be judged for comfort over miles-per-gallon.

But during Saturday’s America’s Mattress Race at Shawnee Peak, there were twins, fulls and kings flying upwards of 30 miles per hour down the main slope.

Racers hauled in their own mattresses for the race – and had the pleasure of dragging them up the mountain to the race start.

While costumes weren’t required, many teams went all-out with coil-spring creativity.


A friend and I came up with a swell idea to dress as a bed bug and an exterminator (team name: Haz Mattress). We didn’t leave much time to prepare, so our sad borrowed mattress had a lackluster presence. We clearly weren’t going to win the best decorated contest.

But our trip downhill? Well, there was some spinning and a spillover, but it was otherwise a success:

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 woke up on this morning.

The 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:

The America’s Mattress Race has become an annual event, so team Haz Mattress will be back next year with a few new tricks (i.e., an ample spraying of PAM on the mattress’s undercarriage apparently helps).

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