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Race 2010


Fans Gather

Blue Peter Badge

Joel in Drag

Getting Joel ready

Pan Cam

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Olney's world famous Pancake Race fell in half term this year, so the turn-out was the largest for many years. After the races for local schoolchildren at 10.30am (see other report for the photos of their races) many people milled around to buy their pancakes and watch entertainers like the Great Gappo.

There was another attraction in the Market Place, as fans flocked around the Blue Peter crew as they prepared presenter Joel for his big appearance in the main race.

Joel was in character with a long, blond wig, Blue Peter apron and some pink lipstick. The team included the director and camera operators. And surely, for the first time in the history of the race there was a 'pan-cam' - a small camera fitted to a frying pan handle.

Ahead of the race OlneyOnline asked Joel about the moment he was told he was to run: "I do get some strange challenges on Blue Peter. As soon as they told me about it I thought 'but that's for women' and then the penny dropped what they were thinking'. But I am cool with it.  I'm oddly at one with being a woman." Asked about the race itself Joel said: "I have been told I mustn't win - though of course I could. I am amazed at how many people are here in the cold."

The race itself began with the customary false-start to allow the photographers to get their shots before running to the finish.

And then they were off... all 27 racers including a three legged team wearing wings.

Jane Hughes crossed the tape at the finish line by the St.Peter and St.Paul church in 1 minute, 7 seconds followed by Nicky Sallis and then Joel from Blue Peter. He said: "I let the second runner go past me, that's the kind of woman I am."

Jane spoke to many of the assembled reporters from BBC TV, ITV, Bucks TV and Three Counties Radio about her pride in the race: "It's fantastic, with a great community spirit. It brings so many people to Olney and puts us on the map. Winning is fantastic, but it really is the taking part that counts."

Joel meanwhile, in his 'piece to camera' said: "Jane Hughes may have won this year, but next year I'm going to be the flippin Queen!"