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Gloucestershire’s Cooper Hill has been host to the traditional cheese rolling event since the 1800s, but health and safety concerns meant the event was officially cancelled in 2010.
Since then however, triumphant spectators and loyal competitors have continued to descend on Cooper’s Hill, determined to keep this world-famous tradition alive – with this year’s event set to take place on Monday 29 May 2017.
The slope on Cooper’s Hill in Gloucester, the setting for the world-famous event, is in fact so steep that very few contestants manage to stay on their feet, instead tumbling head-over-heels down the hill in a desperate effort to catch the coveted dairy prize – a weighty 8lb Double Gloucester.
Check out SoGlos’s video of the 2016 cheese rolling action below, or visit our dedicated YouTube channel at youtube.com/soglos for more viral videos of the Gloucestershire tradition, from as far back as 2007.
While in reality the cheese can never actually be caught – with a brief headstart it soon reaches breakneck speeds – the race winner is the first person to cross the line at the bottom of the hill. Some contenders sadly don’t make it all the way down though, and instead lie in wait for help. St John Ambulance used to be on-hand during official versions of the event, before it was cancelled.
The highest injury toll in recent years occurred in 1997 when 33 competitors were treated for everything from splinters to broken bones, and in 2005 races were delayed as ambulances delivered victims to the local hospital before returning to wait for the next batch of casualties.
See the Gloucesterhire wacky events guide for more unusual events in the county.
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