Oh those crazy Brits. Risking life and limb to catch a runaway cheese. Every spring bank holiday, which this year coincides with June 1 in the US, the annual Cheese Rolling Festival is held at Cooper’s Hill in Brockworth. How is this accomplished, you might very well ask. Well, five 8-lb Double Gloucester cheeses from Smart’s Farm are rolled down the very steep hill, one at a time, and five groups of “nutters” pursue it in a mad dash downward. The cheese reaches a speed of 70 miles and hour, reaching the bottom in 12 seconds. Few contenders manage to stay on their feet as they careen after the target, and injuries occur every year. Recently, this event has gone international.
Accurate documentation is hard to come by, but this cheesy custom is estimated to have begun about 200 years ago.
Hot off the presses – the 2010 event is now passing into the annals of history:
Because of concerns about injuries, the official contest was cancelled, but about 300 fans met for an unofficial contest. Twenty two year old Chris Anderson extended his six year winning streak, with victories in 2 out of 5 races.
He said there was no real secret to his success, explaining, “Just run as fast as you can and lean back. I was nervous and it was scary – but good fun though.”
“I’m retiring, because I’m having a baby boy. So I decided to enter two races this year to have a last go.”