A street in east London was taken over by costumed contestants on Tuesday (February 28) who flipped pancakes as they raced to celebrate Shrove Tuesday.The annual Great Spitalfields Pancake Race - now in its 24th year - gave participants and onlookers a 'flipping' good time as they cheered on runners dressed as Batman, Darth Vader and a team dedicated to the "Minions" movies.Old and young alike took part with tiny tots cheered wildly as they toddled along with their parents attempting to toss the pancakes in their frying pans.Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday is the day in February or March immediately preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. It is traditionally when store cupboard items like eggs and milk were used up ahead of the 40 day fasting period of Lent.In the UK, pancake racing has become part of that tradition with costumed contestants required to flip the pancake several times without dropping it."It's a proper race and over the years we've had trips and accidents and lots of things like that so people take it seriously although it is a lot of fun as well," said one of the organisers from Alternative Arts who goes by the name 'Skinny Bean'.After a close final, which had to be decided by a photo finish, the winners were announced - an office team which included contestants dressed as Batman and Darth Vader."We had a game plan yeah. We've been training for quite a couple of weeks now. We woke up this morning, had a good breakfast," said 'Batman' James Ferignor."I had some pancakes, just to get in the mood, get energy," said Alex Lopez, Ferignor's teammate."The key is to toss it and then start running. Don't run while you toss because otherwise it might get left behind," he added.Up and down the UK pancake races are held on Shrove Tuesday. According to one legend, it began in 1445 when a woman heard the shriving bell while she was making pancakes and ran to the church still dressed in her apron and holding a frying pan.
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