Annual Ely Potato Race cancelled for first time in eight-year history due to Covid-19

PUBLISHED: 17:17 23 September 2020 | UPDATED: 17:17 23 September 2020

The annual Ely Potato Race has been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Archant/Archive

The annual Ely Potato Race has been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Archant/Archive

© Terry Harris

The annual Ely Potato Race has been cancelled for the first time in its eight-year history due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The annual Ely Potato Race has been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Archant/Archive The annual Ely Potato Race has been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Archant/Archive

The news was announced this afternoon after organisers claimed they “couldn’t see a way of running the race safely”.

Organised by Isle of Ely Produce with the help of over 30 local potato farmers, the contest sees teams racing across the high street in Ely.

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It requires each competitor to run with a bag of potatoes on their back and is said to be the only city centre street potato race in the world.

The annual Ely Potato Race has been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Archant/Archive The annual Ely Potato Race has been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Archant/Archive

Oliver Boutwood, director of Isle of Ely Produce, said: “Last year’s race was amazing - more than 1,000 people lined the streets.

“But with the course being narrow, we couldn’t see a way of running the race safely for competitors and spectators alike.”

The event was to coincide with Ely Cathedral’s harvest festival and usually features a school’s race.

The races will be back in 2021 with organiser Austen Dack promising a “bumper day including a brand-new race on the day”.


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