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Ed Leahy

BY ED LEAHY

Ely hosts "most keenly contested potato race yet"

Eighth annual Ely Potato Race fiercely fought with £1,500 raised for charity

Ely hosts "most keenly contested potato race yet"

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Large crowds flocked to see "the most famous potato street race in the world” in Ely, Cambridge over the weekend.

The eighth Ely Potato Race, described as Ely's Monaco, was organised by Isle of Ely Produce to celebrate the region’s potato growers and local harvest festival, with this year’s race described as “the most keenly contested yet”.

Braving the heavy rain this year, race contestants carried bags of potatoes slung over their shoulders while running a half-mile course up Ely High Street.

A two-man Atrium gym team were crowned men’s champions, running with 20kg of Jonathan Waters potatoes, while Divaa Girls stole the women’s crown, running with a bag of Divaa potatoes, both taking home the trophy and £100 in prize money.

Isle of Ely produce director Oliver Boutwood said: “It was lovely to see so many people coming out to support the teams today. We are happy to play such an important part in the community and will continue to invest in these types of events in the future.

“The event underlines our pledge to support the journey of the potato from the field to the frier.”

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More than £1,500 was raised for local charities, some of which will go to the Ely Hereward Rotarians who helped steward the event along the high street, with the rest going to the Ely Mayor’s charities.

Twelve other teams competed in the race featuring ambulance drivers, panto dames, teachers and even a small team from Weymouth.

The children’s race between St Mary’s, St John’s and Isle of Ely primary schools was won by St Mary’s, who lifted the Olivers Potatoes Trophy.

Austen Dack, of organisers Isle of Ely Produce, said: “It was a fantastic set of races again this year with some great free chips to keep the crowd warm, we look forward to welcoming everyone back again next year.”

All competitors got to keep their potatoes as part of their entry fee.

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