Liberal holds bragging rights in 2018 Pancake Day Race

LIBERAL, Kan. Tuesday is Shrove Tuesday, better known as International Pancake Day, a big deal in the southwest Kansas town of LIberal.

For the past 68 years, the days has brought hundreds of people to Liberal to celebrate. Among the most famous Pancake Day traditions is a trans-Atlantic competition between Liberal and Olney, Buckinghamshire, England.

Each year, participants in each community determine who can run a 415-yard race the fastest while also being able to flip a pancake.

The tradition that created International Pancake Day is a centuries-old legend in Olney. The legend has it that it all began one Sunday in 1445 when an Olney woman was making pancake when she heard the church bells ring. To make sure she wasn't late for the service, she ran to the church, donning an apron and holding her frying pan with a pancake in it.

In 1950, Liberal challenged Olney in the pancake race after seeing the English event in a magazine.

Tuesday, Liberal won the Pancake Day Race between the cities. Last year, a technical glitch in Olney denied an accurate determination of who was fastest.

Lindy Claus, a teacher in Liberal was among those competing Tuesday. It was her fourth year running in the Pancake Race. Claus wasn't the fastest individual runner, but she says there's a lesson to teach her kids.

"I teach them you know, that as long as you have fun, it doesn't matter if you win," she says. "It's fun seeing them still encourage me still at the end."

Runners in Liberal and Olney met via Skype to talk about the race after everyone crossed the finish line. It was through this meeting they confirmed Liberal as this year's winner.