Most exciting 35 seconds in sports, the UAB Homecoming Gurney Derby

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UAB’s winning Gurney Derby team Public Enema #1. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Move over Churchill Downs and  Talladega.  Bham Now was on hand yesterday to witness the most exciting, quirkiest and unusual race in the South… the UAB annual Gurney Derby.

Established in 1994, the Gurney Derby is one of the most popular Homecoming Week traditions at UAB.

Here is how it works

Teams of four (two men and two women) race down and back on a stretch of 13th Street South while pushing a “passenger” on old hospital gurneys.

The race takes between 30 to 40 seconds.

The UAB National Alumni Association gives out prestigious and highly sought after awards  to the 1st, 2nd, third and fourth place teams, best-dressed gurney, most creative “passenger,” and the “Dead Last Award.”

Participants in the UAB Gurney Derby, a race that has been held since 1994. Photo by Kelley Swatzell

2018 Gurney Derby Award Winners

* First Place: 29.30 Public Enema #1 – School of Health Professions

UAB’s winning Gurney Derby team Public Enema #1. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

* Second Place: 29.49 Blazing Education – School of Education
* Third Place: 32.10 The Frequent Flyers – PA Studies Program
* Fourth Place: 32.77 Gas Passers – Nurse Anesthesia Class of 2021* Best Dressed Gurney: Pre-Health Pros – Alpha Epsilon Delta
* Dead Last Award: Yes We (Nar)can! – UAB Beacon Recovery/School of Medicine
* Most Creative Passenger:”Eye” Deal Drugs – Callahan Eye Hospital

“Eye” Deal Drugs from the UAB Gurney Derby. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now


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Pat Byington
Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.
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