Things pan out well for fun spring event in Ilkley

Ilkley Gazette: Winner of the first toddler’s race, three-year-old Talia Smith Winner of the first toddler’s race, three-year-old Talia Smith

The spring sunshine may have taken its time to brighten up Shrove Tuesday, but Ilkley’s pancake racers got off to a flying start.

Hundreds of enthusiastic children from local schools were joined by shoppers, parents, grandparents and nearby residents as they lined The Grove to watch the annual Ilkley Rotary Pancake races And local workplaces joined in the fun, putting forward their own teams of staff to battle it out in the competitive adults’ races.

Despite the week getting off to a warm sunny start, waterproofs and umbrellas were the order of the day as the races got under way on Tuesday – but competitors and spectators alike did not let drizzle and grey skies put them off.

The series of races were again organised by Ilkley Rotary Club, and members of the club were out in force stewarding the dashes along The Grove, which became a pedestrian-only zone for the morning.

The pans and the pancakes were provided for the competitors, who had to sprint along the street and flip their pancake – without losing it – to win their race.

A commentary and music was provided by Harrogate radio station Stray FM.

Parties of pupils from local primary schools, independent schools and Ilkley Grammar School headed to The Grove ready for the first race at 10.45am, cheering on their classmates and pupils from other schools.

The first-ever toddlers race was also held, with determined tots running over a shorter distance, all managing to keep the pancakes in their pans.

Winners of each individual race were presented with a T-shirt, and refreshments were on offer to refuel all the runners after their race.

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