NEVER let the rules stand in the way of civic pride was the guiding principle in yesterday's civic pancake race in Huntingdon High Street. Ramsey's deputy mayor, Councillor Ian Walker, made it quite clear even before the other contestants turned up that, having lost out to cheats last year, he had learned his lesson for this. There was no way he was going to bother with the requirement to toss the pancake twice during the 80-metre race. But then, completely disregarding a pre-race injunction from deputy town clerk Karen Cameron, the representatives of St Neots and Godmanchester had no plans to be tossers either. Around 100 hardy souls braved a sunny but bitterly cold morning to line the course between the gazebo and the town hall. Some of them also took part in later races. The annual Shrove Tuesday event theoretically pits the Mayors of Huntingdonshire's market towns against each other. In the event, only two mayors turned up and just one of them, Godmanchester's Councillor Richard Butcher, took part - and second place. St Ives and Chatteris were also invited, but failed to turn up for the toss. Huntingdon's civic leader, Councillor Helen Mallett, had hurt a foot and was unable to find another councillor to stand in for her.