Racing Potatoes! 

By Austen Dack
The countdown to this year’s Ely Potato Race is now on – with the team behind the event celebrating its fifth year.
The annual relay race, organised by Isle of Ely Produce in conjunction with over 30 local potato farmers, is being held on Saturday, October 8 and will be offiicially statrted by Ely Mayor Ian Lindsay.
The contest, sees teams racing from the farmers’ market, on Ely’s Market Place, to the end of the High Street, near the Cathedral.It is likened to Monaco and is the only street based potato race in the world.Like the grand national the ‘jockeys’ are usually filled from local businesses whilst the ‘stables’ are local farmers.
Each competitor is required to run the race with a 20kg bag of potatoes on his or her back.
potato-race-poster-2016Last year’s winners was the Atrium Gym, who ran for F Hartley Estates. The Pretoria Energy Ladies race was won by Dawn Lamb Fitness team.
Oliver Boutwood, director of Isle of Ely Produce, said: “Last year’s race was amazing – more than 1,000 people lined the streets and helped us raise over £2,500 for local charities.”
“The race fits in nicely with our campaign which highlights the journey the potato makes from field to the frier. It also brings agriculture into our city.”
The team as well as asking for runners are also looking for local sponsors too. All money raised will go to local charities.
New for 2016 will be a mini potato festival, being held after the race on the Cathedral Cross Green. With children’s events and stalls including a best dressed potato and a potato lifting race too.
The race itself, which also coincides with Ely Cathedral’s harvest festival, starts at 11am. Once again there will also be a schools race too.
The cost of entering a team of two people is £10.
If you would like to enter please call (01353) 863355 or email austen@isleofely.co.uk.

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