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Rehab UK Parliamentary Pancake Race Review

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating

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Rehab UK Parliamentary Pancake Race, London
© Laura Porter (2007), licensed to About.com, Inc.
The Rehab UK Parliamentary Pancake Race has been an annual event since 1996. It is a team relay race with competitors from all political parties of the House of Commons, plus the House of Lords and parliamentary media reporters.

When

10.15am – 10.30am on Shrove Tuesday

Where

College Green, outside the Houses of Parliament.

Directions

Nearest Tube Station: Westminster

Take St. Margaret's Street off Parliament Square, along the side of Westminster Hall and the Houses of Parliament. College Green is a small grass area on the opposite side of the road to the Houses of Parliament, opposite Victoria Tower Gardens.
See map.

Rehab UK Parliamentary Pancake Race, London© Laura Porter (2007), licensed to About.com, Inc.

Why

The Rehab UK Parliamentary Pancake Race raises awareness of the charity Rehab UK which campaigns for employment opportunities for people with brain injury. Rehab UK is part of RehabCare and a member of Rehab Group.

Race Rules

There are detailed rules for the Rehab UK Parliamentary Pancake Race but I particularly like:

  • Frying pans must not be used as weapons ... whatever the depth of provocation.
  • Any surplus eggs, flour or batter remaining ... must not be propelled in the direction of other participants or spectators.

What if it rains?

If it rains too heavily to race the Duckworth-Lewis rules for one-day cricket are invoked. (All very complicated but I think it means the team leading wins.)

The Race

The Rehab UK Parliamentary Pancake Race is a relay race over a course of about 25 meters. Competitors must all wear an apron and chef’s hat over their standard attire. They must run with a frying pan and toss their pancake 3 times to a minimum height of 3 feet (about 1 meter). If they drop their pancake they have to return to the starting line and begin again. Each team member must run the course and the team pancake must remain intact.

Race Review

Rehab UK Parliamentary Pancake Race, London

Rehab UK Parliamentary Pancake Race, London

© Laura Porter (2007), licensed to About.com, Inc.

This is a fantastic idea and a great photo opportunity outside the Houses of Parliament. Unfortunately the race I watched had more press photographers than spectators, but then again Shrove Tuesday is in February so it’s not too warm yet.

Following the pancake inspection, the race starter blows his whistle and the race starts. It must have looked great but the spectators could hardly see anything through the press photographers. If only they would get off the course! It is fantastic that the Rehab UK Parliamentary Pancake Race receives so much publicity as it exists to raise awareness of the charity Rehab UK but it's a shame the spectators were not allowed to enjoy the race.

I would still recommend this race as it is a fun event. But be prepared to tell the press to "get out of the way!"

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