All week the talk has been of the weather – and then it cleared!
As teams assembled, from the surgeons to pirates, from saucy schoolgirls to jockeys the skies became brighter – OK, maybe it could have been better, but this IS Britain, and no one was being deterred.
Even as the sun was trying to appear, more teams were entering, reaching an incredible 38, making up 175 participants!
Teams were called to the start where they were set off by the Carnival Queen, helped by the Princess and attendants. As the legendary Team Kiss Fist (where did that name come from) set off from the Prince, the crowds came out onto the streets to cheer on their favourites and to help fill those buckets.
Several teams acted out scenes, sang songs or even carried out gory operations as they entertained the crowds. This was true interactive and creative street theatre, not just a procession.
The Pub Race, also previously known as the Beer Race, is one of the town’s most successful fund-raisers for local good causes. With teams sponsored and buckets rattling, several thousand pounds are collected, and there are trophies for those who collect most too.
This year’s route once again took in all the town’s pubs, plus stops at the two recently sadly lost to developers, the Railway Hotel and the Harvest Home.
At each halt team members drank a half before heading off for the next, some at great speed, some rather less so some in straight lines, some taking weaving routes!
From the Prince to the Railway (site), the Bell, the Kings Arms, the White Hart, the Red House, the Harvest Home (site) and finally to the Sports and Social Club, the teams brought out the true community fun found in the town.
Live music rang out from the pubs, games, hog roasts, outside bars, all greeted competitors and entrants alike, before the teams in various states of disarray crossed the finish line.
Then more fun as top band Just Testing entertained, and the judges ummed, erred, and pontificated as judges do.
Rob from the festival team hushed the crowd, but the whoops soon cried out as the much anticipated results were announced for what was probably the best Pub Race yet…
Click pictures to enlarge.
So to the final results:
Overall Winner – Whitchurch – who else!
Top Team effort
1st: the Great British Ambulance Service
1st: Mario and Friends
2nd: Snow Patrol
3rd: Feed the Pony
1st: Team Work Always Triumphs : 30 minutes
(after a tie break)
2nd: Greasy Bad Boys : 30 minutes
3rd: Los Ultimo Gueros : 33 minutes
Most Donations collected on the day
1st: Mario and Friends : £232.29
2nd: Les Femmes l’Avenir : £167.88
3rd: Beer Test Dummies : £145.91
Most pledged in advance
1st: Les Femmes l’Avenir
GRAND TOTAL RAISED, an incredible £2758
(subject to check)
And just to finish – the team that started first…