THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
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Next week is Pancake Day, Tuesday February 25, and as is tradition, the towns of Liberal, Kansas in the US and Olney in the UK will be competing in their Transatlantic Pancake Day race.
Last year, we spoke to Gary Classen in Liberal about the origins of the event. Explaining the tradition, he said "The connection between the two towns started back in 1950 when a gentleman by the name of RJ Leete read in a magazine about the women of Olney competing in a race involving pancakes. RJ contacted the Rev. Cannon Collins in Olney about the race and challenged them to a friendly competition. Collins agreed, a set of rules was established, and the races began."
Outlining how the race works, Gary told us that "The official race consists of women running an "S" shaped course which is 415 yards long. The women must be clad in the traditional "house-wife attire", which is a skirt, apron and head scarf. Runners must flip their pancake at the beginning of the race and also at the end of the course to prove that they still have the pancake in hand. The runner with the fastest time wins the International competition."
Last year's race was won by Liberal, Kansas, with its winner, Maggie Lapinski, winning in a time of 1 minute 2.98 seconds, compared to Olney's winner Amy Butler, who crossed the finishing line in 1 minute 10 seconds. The result meant that Liberal extended their overall lead in the event, with 39 wins compared to Olney's 29 wins.