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Sunday
February 23rd, 2020

maggie lapinski 2019 pancake dayMaggie Lapinski heads down Lincoln Avenue with a large lead during the International Pancake Race last year. Lapinski won with a time of 62.98 seconds. L&T file photo/Earl WattELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

  

Pancake Day 2020 is rapidly approaching, which means it will soon be time to break out the running shoes for some people. 

This year's Pancake Day races will be Tuesday, Feb. 25 starting with the kids' at 10:30 a.m. Then the Men's Pacer Race will be at 11:40 a.m. and all the race activity culminates with the International Race at 11:55 a.m. The children’s races will be at 4th Street and Lincoln Avenue, with the Men’s Pacer Race and the International Race starting at 6th Street and Kansas Avenue in front of Liberal Memorial Library. Sign-ups start Monday, Feb. 3 and will go to Friday, Feb. 14 (with the exception of the weekend days during that time) and people can sign up at the Recreation Center at 1109 W. 7th Street at Blue Bonnet Park during regular hours during the week. Medals will be given in all races for the top three finishers, who will have their names mentioned in local media, and all Short Stack Sprint racers who don't place will receive participation medals. 

“There's no entry fee for any of the races, and all the parents need to do is bring the complete entry form to the Recreation Center here and for those 18 years old or older, you don't need to bring your parents with you to sign up,” Pancake Day board member Ronna Stump said. “The kids' races are for boys and girls from ages 3 years old to 18 years old, and women 18 years old and older are eligible for the International Race – however, if you're 18 years old and still in high school, we would want you to enter the youth races.”

Stump said she is excited for this year’s Pancake Day festivities. 

“It's always exciting every year seeing what happens. This year we're trying some new things, which I think will be really fun for everyone, and we'll see how all of that turns out,” Stump said. “It's a great experience and you can officially say 'Yes I ran in the Pancake Day race' at least once. It's something you can have bragging rights about, it's something fun to participate in each year and I just encourage everyone to take part at least once. And for parents who want their little ones in the races, get them signed up as soon as possible because there are only 15 slots per race, no exceptions, and they fill up really quickly, so get them signed up as soon as you can.”

Stump said she also particularly watches future serious racers take part in the first children’s races. 

“I especially enjoy watching the really young children run because a lot of them are just so excited and they run their hearts and little legs out, and there's also the occasional case where one or two look up and see the big crowd gathered and then they get scared and emphatically decide NO, they don't want to run after all,” Stump said with a laugh. “I also enjoy watching the International Race, that's always fun to watch because all the ladies who participate are such great sports about everything and they have a bit of that bonding time at the church before the race starts. And they're all wondering the exact same thing since they're going through the same race, so it's cool seeing that camaraderie.”

For those still considering whether or not they want to take part in the Pancake Day races, Stump said don’t think, just do. 

“I'd say just go for it and don't think. There's only 15 slots and if you're thinking about doing the race, sign up and just go for it,” Stump said. “And something that's particularly awesome is the college's wellness center is actually going to be open to those who are participating who want to get in some extra training the two weeks prior to the run. So quit just thinking about it and just go for it.”

Stump also gave a quick rundown of the rest of the Pancake Day activities for 2020. 

“We start of every Pancake Day festivities with our flipping and eating contests the Saturday before, which is always enjoyable to see,” Stump said. “And this year we're also having our Pancake Chase races, which will include a 5K and a new 10K for this year, which will be in the afternoon, and we love seeing people come out for that especially the ones who like to run but might not feel up to the big races on Pancake Day. Then Sunday there will be the carnival at the Seward County Activity Center, and that will be similar to our Christmas Blast event and there will be games and things like that for everyone. Then Monday's the big dignitary reception at Baker Arts Center and then Tuesday starts off with the big Pancake Day breakfast bright and early. With the Pancake Chase races, it's just a fun race for people to participate in, and it's a way to participate in Pancake Day if you're not wanting to do the big races on Tuesday, and the Pancake Chase races are open to people outside the community while the other races are not. Everyone who participates in that typically has fun and we enjoy having it every year.”

Overall, Stump said, this year’s Pancake Day should be full of fun, and offered encouragement for people to sign up. 

“Sign-ups start Feb. 3 here at the Recreation Center and if you're going to sign up, you must do it in person, and again, be sure to get in here early because slots to fill up quickly,” Stump said. “However, if you're a parent who wants to sign up their child but can't actually get in here, you can send someone in to sign up for you. But the International Race participants, we do want them to come in because we also have a short questionnaire for them to fill out because we want to have that information in the media so the community can see who all will be representing Liberal for this year's race. 

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