Contestants have a Gouda time chasing cheese (Gallery)

Dozens of reckless racers have chased a 7-pound wheel of Double Gloucester cheese down the near-vertical Cooper’s Hill near Gloucester in southwestern England


KIN CHEUNG / Associated Press

Participants compete in the men’s downhill race during the Cheese Rolling contest at Cooper’s Hill in Brockworth, Gloucestershire, Monday, May 29, 2023. The Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake is an annual event where participants race down the 200-yard (180 m) long hill chasing a wheel of double gloucester cheese.

LONDON — Hundreds of spectators gathered Monday to watch dozens of reckless racers chase a 7-pound (3 kilogram) wheel of Double Gloucester cheese down the near-vertical Cooper’s Hill, near Gloucester in southwest England.

The first racer to finish behind the fast-rolling cheese gets to keep it.

The cheese-rolling race has been held at Cooper’s Hill, about 100 miles west of London, since at least 1826, and the sport of cheese-rolling is believed to be much older.

The rough-and-tumble event often comes with safety concerns. Few competitors manage to stay on their feet all the way down the 200-yard (180 meter) hill, and this year several contenders had to be helped, limping, from the course.

Canadian contestant Delaney Irving, 19, won the women’s race despite being briefly knocked unconscious.

“I just remember hitting my head, and now I have the cheese,” said Irving, who comes from Nanaimo, British Columbia.

Matt Crolla, 28, from Manchester in northwestern England, won the first of several men’s races.

“I don’t think you can train for it, can you? It’s just being an idiot,” he said.

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