It’s all flippin’ great fun

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The Olympics may be five months away but spectators have already been treated to a display of speed, agility and hand-eye co-ordination.

Competitors of all ages ran along streets, around cones, over benches and through hoops – and all with pan in hand – as pancake races were held across the north of the county yesterday.

Robert Orr, chairman of Desborough Community Development Trust, which organised a race which brought the town centre to a standstill, said: “We want to mark all kinds of occasions.

“We want to bring the community together and just look at the community here. It’s fabulous.”

Schools, including Oakley Vale Primary School and Croyland Primary School, Wellingborough, held traditional races.

But pupils of Christopher Reeves Lower School, Podington, faced the toughest challenge by far, completing a course which included a slalom, flipping pancakes on a mat, climbing over a bench, going through a hoop and standing in a tyre to finish.

Parent governor Kelly Bryan, whose employer estate agent Connells sponsored the event, said: “The kids absolutely loved it.”

Not to be outdone, Caldecott Women’s Institute, which has been holding races since 1983, included a speed-tossing contest for people less able to run.

Villager Dean Hawkins won with 100 flips in a minute.

More than 100 people lined Station Road in Desborough, which was closed for the town’s first pancake race.

Six-year-old Jamie Cowley, of Havelock Infants School, who won the first child’s heat, said: “I feel good.”

Jo Parish, whose son Zebedee, seven, also competed, said: “It’s fantastic. It’s local history in the making.”

Oakley Vale Primary School held races for staff and parents as well as all 332 pupils.

Headteacher Michael Deanehall said: “The children seemed to enjoy themselves.”