Runner from Liberal, Kansas, Wins International Pancake Day Race

Ted "The Sports Head"
February 13, 2018 - 1:34 pm

Competitors from Olney (Photo: PA Images/Sipa USA)


A competitor from Liberal, Kansas, has won the International Pancake Day Race against the top runner from Olney, England. Gaby Covarrubias of Liberal ran the course on Shrove Tuesday with a time of 1:08.85, about 2.5 seconds faster than Olney’s Katie Godof at 1:11.4.

The Shrove Tuesday competition began in 1950 between people in Liberal, Kansas, and Olney, Buckinghamshire, England, creating International Pancake Day. Each year the two towns hold a 415-yard race to determine the fastest female runner who can also flip a pancake at the beginning and end of the race.

Commemorated elsewhere aound the world as Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, and Carnival, Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, a 40-day fasting period in preparation for Easter.

The Olney tradition dates to the middle of the 15th Century. Legend holds that a woman in Olney was making pancakes when the church bells began ringing to announce morning mass. She raced to arrive at church on time, clad in an apron and clutching her frying pan.

It's Liberal's first win in the annual contest since 2015; Liberal now leads the all-time series 38-29.

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