Cheers echoed around the Carfax as the popular Pancake Race returned to Horsham this afternoon.
Although taking place a week before Pancake Day it did not stop spectators getting into the Shrove Tuesday spirt as hundreds of parents and youngsters showed their support for competitors.
Twenty-two teams representing businesses from across the district laced up their trainers and donned their sweat bands and frying pans as they rushed around the makeshift course near the War Memorial.
Several mascots including Peppa Pig, Howie the Hornet, an emperor penguin and even a milkshake also took part in the comical giant egg and spoon race.
Television presenter and children’s entertainer Dave Benson Phillips hosted the action keeping crowds entertained throughout the afternoon with his dancing and jokes.
Last year’s champions Bluecoat Sports were knocked off the top spot by recruitment agency Harris Lord, who took home The Sainsbury’s Trophy -for the overall winners- for the first time since 2010.
Ashley Humphreys, of Harris Lord, said: “It was exciting, we all really enjoyed it.
“I think its great to get local businesses together. We come here every year and we have had so much fun.”
The Sainsburys team, which won the competition in 2009 and 2012, were runners up.
Action Medical Research won the Horsham Rotary Charity Shield and were also crowned best dressed, winning the Non-Stop Party Shop Best Team Fancy Dress Prize.
The Waitrose Trophy for the Best Over-40’s Team went to the Rotary Club of Horsham while Leo Joseph, of Harris Lord, won best pancake flipper.
In the Mascot race Buster of The Search Dogs took home first prize.
The event is run by Horsham Rotary in conjunction with Horsham District Council.
John Le Rossignol, of Horsham Rotary, said: “It is just such fun and the kids love to see the mascots.
“We have moved the day away from Pancake Day to half term as it is nice to have the kids here.
“One of the things we like to do as well as raising money is give Horsham a good time.
“It is just a nice event for families to come to, raising money for charities and it is very fun for everybody.”
Dave Benson Phillips said he was very impressed with both the competitors and the support.
He said: “It is the best. I love the way Horsham gets behind it. Last year when we did it, it was great, we raised a lot of money as Horsham always does and everyone who took part and came was great.
“It is such a good event, the money they raise and the causes they give to are unbelievable.”
Spectators attended from across the county and were just as impressed.
Julia Lowson was down watching with her two children Isobel and Theo.
She said: “The kids love it. I think it brings a real community spirit to the town.”
“I thought it was amazing,” Isobel added.
Rachel Clough said: “This is the first time I have been to it and it’s great. I have got a little one and she is loving it. She loves anything like this and especially the ones that are dressed up.
Julia Kirk, who was down with her little ones, added: “They are enjoying it. It’s a good idea to have it especially in half term.”
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