Britain’s most exotic extreme sport is back.
Hundreds of spectators gathered on Monday to watch dozens of intrepid runners chase a three-kilogram wheel of Double Gloucester cheese up the nearly vertical hills of Cooper’s Hill near Gloucester in southwest England. The first runner behind the fast-rolling cheese keeps. Canada’s Delaney Irving, 19, won the women’s race despite briefly losing consciousness.
“I remember hitting my head, and now I have the cheese,” said Irving, who is from Nanaimo, British Columbia. The Cheese Race has been held at Copper Hill, about 100 miles west of London, since at least 1826, and the sport is thought to be much older. This brutal event is often accompanied by security issues. Few competitors have managed to stay upright the entire way down the 180-meter hill, and this year many of them had to fall off the course.
Matt Crolla, 28, of Manchester, northwest England, won the first of many men’s races. When asked about his preparations, he told reporters: “I don’t think you can practice for that, right? You just have to be a fool.”
Image credit: Dave Farance.
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