LAST week's traditional Shrove Tuesday pancake race was a success despite the rain and a controversial ban on running, the district council is insisting.

Two national newspapers and BBC Radio 4 reported how several teams were disqualified for running in the city centre event, claiming spectators had booed.

But the council's tourism manager Charles Baker said today: "Everyone seemed to enjoy the race and a number of participants even preferred the revised rules as it made the event more inclusive.”

Spokeswoman Amanda Wilkinson said: "The rules were slightly amended this year to take account of the weather conditions as it was raining and the ground was wet and slippery and we did not want teams to pull out.

"The rule change was a one-off and in future years running will make a return if that is what participants want."

The event, which attracted 200 spectators and 23 teams, was won by Strutt and Parker estate agents.