TEENAGER Devon Byrne set a new world record in retaining her title as queen of the Olney Pancake Race.
The 19-year-old won the annual contest in a time of 56 seconds to beat the previous best time set by Tasha Gallegos in Liberal, Kansas in 2009.
Miss Gallegos’ world record for the 400 metre race had been 57.5 seconds.
The ladies of Olney compete against their peers in America every year. The friendly competition is in its 64th year.
The Olney Pancake Race itself dates back to 1445. It is believed it all began with a townswoman late for the Shriving service at Olney parish church.
Hearing the church bells ring out for the service, the woman fled her house fearful of being late. She ran the distance down the High Street to make it to the parish church – still clutching her frying pan and wearing an apron.
Runner-up in this year’s race was Kaisa Larkas-Mossop, with Emma Attwood coming third.
Entrants need to have lived in the town for more than six months, competing in traditional apron, cap, and holding a fying pan with a real pancake.
They must toss their pancake once at the start – outside The Bull Inn – and once at the finish by the church.
The race, which started at 11.55am, saw the High Street shut, with spectators lining the route from the Market Place to St Peter and St Paul church.
Devon, who is a member of Milton Keynes Athletic Club and competes in the heptathlon, won the 2012 race in a time of 58.5 seconds.
Devon’s mum won the race three times in 1988, 1989 and 1993 – the maximum any competitor can win the race.
She said: “It was a lot harder than last year.
“I think I went out a lot harder. I really felt it at the end and I’m really pleased.”