Hundreds of people joined Gloucestershire’s cheese rolling race today despite weather warnings of thunder and lightning.
Organized for the first time since the pandemic, the event saw participants gather at the top of the nearly vertical Cooper Hill in Brockworth Village.
This is where a nine-pound wheel of Double Gloucester cheese, which can accelerate to over 70 mph, was dropped down the hill.
Contestants hurl themselves down a 200-yard slope and the person who makes it to the bottom wins the cheese.
Many generally take a fall and this year it was no different.
The wet conditions made it more difficult, even for experienced cheese chasers, who fell down the slippery grass, leaving them muddy and slightly bruised.
Former champion Chris Anderson finished everything in seconds in 2019 by winning his 23rd race after a year off.
The soldier, who lives in Brockworth, said that after having a daughter during the pandemic, it would be his last year.
He took a record 22 wins in 15 years and won three races in 2018, resulting in the top three finishers at home.
On Sunday, as Mr Anderson held his ponytail over his head for a picture, the audience erupted in applause.
‘This is the 23rd and last time,’ he insisted. ‘I was already very scared.’
Meanwhile, North Carolina’s Abby Lampe registered her victory in the women’s race.
She was seen celebrating with past winner Flo Early by her side.
The subsequent race – limited to 25 people in all – saw tourists take first prize.
Some of the contestants came to South Korea to descend the steep slopes.
Belgium’s Rob Gabriels said after his win: ‘I saw a video on Facebook five years ago.
‘And I love doing crazy, dumb stuff. It’s crazy to win and a wonderful feeling.’
Considered one of the world’s most bizarre ‘feet of strength’ events, it has been celebrated for centuries despite the shadow of health and safety risks.
People are injured in every incident – many with broken bones and sprains – but many participants, such as Mr. Anderson, always return for the next one.
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