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Pancake Day race scrapped for health and safety because of wind and rain

Richard Hartley-Parkinson

Killjoys cancel pancake race on health and safety grounds
The event has been popular in previous years but will not be taking place today (Picture: BNPS)

A pancake race that was due to take place today has been cancelled because it was found that it might be dangerous to have people running on ‘wet, muddy grass’.

Organisers said they were left with no choice but to cancel the event after the Met Office predicted heavy rain and 40mph winds at the time the event was scheduled to take place.

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They said that the weather forecast for Christchurch, Dorset, would have made the event ‘unsafe’ and ‘unpleasant at best’.

A spokesman for Christchurch Food Festival said: ‘Our first priority is everyone’s safety and slippery grass with strong winds and rain is not a good combination for tossing pancakes whilst running.

‘As you will appreciate, the health and safety element of people running on slippery grass, as well as wind and rain, makes the whole event unsafe.

Killjoys cancel pancake race on health and safety grounds
Many people have expressed their dismay at being told they won’t be able to race today (Picture: BNPS)

‘In addition, with the weather like that we are unlikely to get an audience anyway.’

They added: ‘It would be dangerous for people to run on wet, muddy grass. In addition high winds would make the event unpleasant at best.

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‘A number of us have worked for some weeks on organising the pancake race, and so it is very sad for us to have to decide to cancel. It is most definitely not a decision we have taken lightly. Sorry.’

One person slammed the decision to cancel the race on social media as another example of the ‘nanny state’.

He said: ‘Yep there it is, that old nanny state cobblers of health and safety.

‘When I was at school we used to do cross country running in thunder storms, what is the matter with the soft snowflakes in the world today.’

But others took to Facebook to express sympathy to the organisers after the cruel intervention from the weather.

Colette Neaum said: ‘Sad but you’ve made the right decision under the circumstances. There’s always next year.’

Annette Hibberd said: ‘Sad and brave decision.’

Amanda Arkell added: ‘What a flippin’ shame!’

The race was scheduled for 9am today and entrants will receive a full refund.

A Met Office spokesperson said: ‘The organisers were right (to cancel the event) because there is some inclement weather coming.

‘We expect 40mph gusts throughout the morning and some heavy rain. It will be very unpleasant and we may issue a weather warning for the area..’

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