There were more than a few tumbles from cheese chasers (Pictures: Getty)
Hundreds of people attended Gloucestershire’s cheese rolling race today despite weather warnings of thunderstorms and lightning.
Held for the first time since the pandemic, the event saw participants gather at the very top of the almost vertical Cooper’s Hill in the village of Brockworth.
This is where a nine-pound wheel of Double Gloucester cheese, which can take on speeds of more than 70 miles per hour, was released down the hill.
Competitors haul themselves down the 200-yard slope and the first one to make it to the bottom wins the cheese.
Many normally take a tumble and this year it was no different.
Wet conditions made it extra hard, even for experienced cheese chasers who plunged down the slippery grass, leaving them muddy and a little bruised.
It was all over within seconds with former champion Chris Anderson winning his 23rd race after a year off in 2019.
Contestants in the men’s downhill race could not keep up with the slope (Picture: Getty)
Abby Lampe from North Carolina celebrates her win in the women’s race with previous winner Flo Early (Picture: Getty)
The face of this participant says it all (Picture: Getty)
The soldier, who lives in Brockworth, said that after having a daughter during the pandemic, this would be his last year competing.
He holds a record 22 wins over 15 years and won three races in 2018, taking home three top cheeses as a result.
As Mr Anderson held his cheese above his head for a picture on Sunday, spectators erupted in applause.
‘This is the 23rd and final time,’ he stressed. ‘I was so scared beforehand.’
Meanwhile, Abby Lampe from North Carolina smashed her win in the women’s race.
She was seen celebrating with previous winner Flo Early by her side.
Later races – all limited to 25 people each – saw tourists taking first prizes.
Some contestants had come from as far as South Korea to take on the steep slope.
Chris Anderson poses for a photo with the cheese after winning the first men’s downhill race (Picture: Getty)
This year’s weather conditions made the race even harder (Picture: Getty)
Robbe Gabriels and Amr El Shourbagya kiss the Jubilee Cheese after their win (Picture: Getty)
Robbe Gabriels, from Belgium, said after his win: ‘I saw a video on Facebook five years ago.
‘And I like to do crazy, dumb stuff. It’s crazy to win and an amazing feeling.’
Considered one of the world’s most bizarre ‘Feats of Strength’ events, it has been celebrated for centuries, despite the shadow of health and safety risks.
Every event sees people getting injured – with a number of broken bones and sprains – but many participants, like Mr Anderson, always return for the next.
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