By JACKIE HONG
Twenty teams are gathered behind the starting line. The rules are simple: there are ten squads; there are two teams per squad. At the sound of the horn, they’re going to make a 200 ft.-dash down closed-off street. The team who wins each heat moves on to the next round. Repeat until the winner is crowned.
Sounds like a fairly standard race, except for two points – each team has to pull a hospital bed with them during their sprints, and the grand prize is a golden bedpan.
Mix it all together and you have the eighth annual Danforth Dash Bed Race, a charity event in support of Toronto East General Hospital that kicked off the Taste of the Danforth street festival in Toronto Aug. 8.
“It’s going to be my first time racing in it, I’m excited, I’m prepared, I’m a competitive person so I hope to have fun but also win,” Toronto Maple Leafs softball player Marek Deska said before the race.
“We’re confident. We’ve been training. We did the Scarborough East General Race, we came in third, but we’re confident we’re going to win this one”, team leader Carmen Lint said.
Other teams included cast members from television show Degrassi, staff from Global News, Toronto police and firefighters, Toronto sports teams’ mascots and Toronto Argonauts cheerleaders. The event was emceed by Global News weatherman Anthony Farnell and Sportsnet commentator Ken Reid. Toronto’s deputy mayor Norm Kelly and mayoral candidate John Tory also made appearances.
Local 113 ultimately proved victorious, narrowly beating out a team of Canadian Olympic athletes and NHL players.
The proceeds of the race will go towards the Ken and Marilyn Thomson Patient Care Centre, a new wing of Toronto East General Hospital that promises the latest in medical technology and patient care.