Hundreds cheer on cheese rollers
Published 30/05/2011 | 14:48
Rebel cheese rollers have defied the weather to take part in a bizarre competition of chasing an 8lb piece of the dairy product down a steep hill.
Hardcore thrill seekers staged their own unofficial event after the world-famous Cheese Rolling was cancelled for a second year running. There was a large police presence at entrances to Cooper's Hill, at Brockworth, near Gloucester, but the event went ahead.
This year champion local cheese roller Chris Anderson, 23, won the three adult male races while 14-year-old Jo Guest, from Wolverhampton, came out on top in the women's race.
The race had been advertised on social networking sites with a page set up on Facebook and people posting messages on Twitter.
The bizarre annual event attracts participants, spectators and media from across the world.
Several hundred spectators braved the fog and rain to watch around a dozen daredevil athletes pursue the Double Gloucester cheese 200 metres down the 1:2 gradient slope.
Competitors slip, somersault and tumble their way to the bottom in spectacular fashion during the bone-crunching races - and the first person to grab the cheese wins.
After winning the first race, Mr Anderson, from Brockworth, Gloucester, said: "That's the biggest fall I've ever had, ever. I got far too much speed up and had a big fall." Mr Anderson recovered from his tumble to win the further two adult men races and walk away with three Double Gloucester cheeses.
Asked how he was feeling, Mr Anderson, who is planning to join the Army and might not be back next year to defend his crown, said: "Amazing, brilliant. First time I've won all three I'm knackered now and cold and wet."
Mr Anderson, who is a civilian MoD worker, said that this year's unofficial event passed off without any injuries.