Pancake race time: 64.3 seconds

Feb. 12, 2013 at 2:31 PM   |   Comments

LIBERAK, Kan., Feb. 12 (UPI) -- First-time runner Caitlin Demarest posted a time of 64.3 seconds despite snow in the annual Shrove Tuesday pancake race in Liberal, Kan., a race official said.

Demarest, 27, bested 12 other competitors on the 415-yard course, spokeswoman JoAnn Combs said. Rene Boaldin, 20, was second and last year's winner, Kaela Kreuger, was third.

"It was warm enough yesterday, you didn't need a coat," Combs said. But by race time Tuesday, it was 32 degrees, "snowing and really wet. It's not really sticking. ... It's real fine and really coming down."

No one slipped, Combs added.

The race goes back to the 15th century when tradition has it an English housewife frying up pancakes to use up the last of her fat before the start of Lent heard the tolling of the church bell and realized she was late for the Shriving Service. She ran out the door, fry pan still in hand and still wearing her apron and headscarf.

Modern racers are similarly dressed and have to flip their pancakes at least once during the race.

Liberal races against Olney, England, and apparently lost for the second straight year. Olney's race was won by Devon Byrne, 19, but though ITV reports she set a race record, no official time has been posted. Byrne also won last year's heats, running the course in 58.5 seconds.

The International Pancake Day website says the overall score stood at 36 wins for Liberal and 26 for Olney as of last year. Liberal posted the current record in 2009, 57.5 seconds.

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