A champion cheese-roller has smashed the world record for the most cheeses won in the death-defying Cheese Rolling Race, suffering a torn calf in the process. Chris Anderson, 30, broke the all-time record held by Stephen Gyde after scooping the first of this year’s three men’s downhill races.
Daredevil Mr. Anderson, who has won 22 Double Gloucester cheeses over 14 years of races, was competing in the annual Cheese Rolling Race when he left other races trailing behind as he sprinted tripped and tumbled down Cooper’s Hill in Brockworth, Gloucestershire.
At the very top of the very steep hill, the master of Ceremonies will release a nine-pound wheel of Double Gloucester cheese which can take on speeds of over 70 miles an hour. The first runner to get to the bottom of the hill wins the contest and a whole lot of cheese, literally. Unfortunately, the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling event is by no means a safe competition. If you decide you are crazy enough to compete, make sure you don’t bruise or cry easily. Dozens are injured every year as contestants attempting to make it down the hill are often hospitalized.
The first written evidence of the event was found in a message to the Gloucester Town Crier in 1826, though it is clear that the event was already an old tradition even at this date. It is believed that the tradition could have been started by the Phoenicians, who inhabited South-Western parts of Britain before the Roman invasion of 54BC, by the Ancient Britons, or by the Romans themselves, according to Wikipedia.