Cheese Rolling is one of the oldest customs to have survived in Great Britain. It's been going on for hundreds of years and some say it has its roots in pre-Roman times.
Today it is as popular as ever and the crowds turned out in large numbers at Cooper's Hill in Gloucestershire to watch yet more brave souls risk life and limb chasing after a 7lb Double Gloucester cheese. The winner gets to keep the cheese they've chased after!
The event started with the first men's race at 12 noon on Monday 30th May 2005. As the competitors waited at the top of the hill, thousands of spectators lined the sides of the hill in anticipation of the centuries old spectacle.
Cooper's Hill was something akin to a Roman coliseum as the crowd began eagerly chanting 'Roll that Cheese' and baying for the first race to get underway. You could sense the excitement as the 'Gladiators' lined up at the top of the hill, awaiting the signal from the master of ceremonies.
Jason Crowther, first race winner
The first race
Once the master of ceremonies gave the signal, guest cheese roller Rev. Mitchell let the 7lb Double Gloucester cheese go and the race was underway.
Jason Crowther crossed the line in first place after an uncontrollable tumble halfway down the hill sent him way ahead of the rest of the field, who were taking it a little less recklessly.
Jason was aware of his victory as he cart wheeled over the line and even had the presence of mind to raise his arms up in triumph. The full result of the first race is as follows:
- Jason Crowther
- Luke McChristie
- Marcus Smith
Chris Anderson - second race winner
The Second race
The second men's race was a tight affair until about halfway down when Chris Anderson from Brockworth in Gloucestershire kept his balance, sped up and raced away from the pack.
It was almost a disastrous gamble as Chris lost his balance with a third to go and went into a chaotic roll head-first through the nettles.
Fortunately, he managed to bounce out of a roll and onto his feet, hurling himself over the line in first place - a truly brave effort that deservedly won him his cheese. Sadly he suffered an injury in the descent and had to be stretchered off, still clutching his cheese!
The full result from the second race:
- Chris Anderson
- Clint Jyde
- Paul Carter
Dione carter, two times winner
The women's race
Cheese Rolling is nothing if not an equal opportunities event and women get the chance to chase down that cheese too. It was a typically blood'n'guts affair as the women flung themselves down the hill as top speed.
Everyone on the hill is warned that the path of the 7lb cheese can be very unpredictable and this was illustrated as the cheese itself headed towards the crowd on the left hand side of the hill. It seemed to strike someone in the crowd and bounce back onto the hill - fortunate for the cheese, not so fortunate for the spectator. Luckily, no paramedics were needed...
As the race entered the final third, there were three in it. All three fell head over heels towards the line and Dione Carter recovered to scramble over the line to win the race.
Dione, a Kiwi living in London, made it a glorious double in the cheese rolling as she won last year's women's race too. Despite a few scratches and scrapes, she was in jubilant mood after clinching yet another cheese.
The full result from the women's race was:
- Dione Carter (New Zealand)
- Jodie Jyde (Brockworth, Gloucestershire)
- Faith Stefaniak (USA)
Also taking part in the women's event was Blue Peter's Liz Barker. It was a brave attempt for her first time as she stuck to a 'slowly but surely' approach that saw her finish third from last. Liz revealed she found the race a little scary and said she would stick to eating cheeses rather than chasing them in future!
Aaron Walden - winner of the final race
The final race
The final race was delayed for quite some time as the injured competitors from the previous race were cleared from the hill. Finally, the final men's race was ready to go.
There was an appreciative roar from the crowd as the final 7lb Double Gloucester was let loose from the top of the hill. It was an incredibly tight race from start to finish. Aaron Walden and Craig Fairley were neck-and-neck as they approached the finish line - both took a tumble but Aaron recovered the quicker, making a lunge for the line.
Aaron also won the final race of last year's cheese rolling, making it a memorable double. A special mention needs to go to Luke McChristie who, not satisfied with just one journey down the hill, decided to make another - he finished in third this time around.
The full result from the final race was:
- Aaron Walden
- Craig Fairley
- Luke McChristie
A legendary tale
The lure of participating in what could very well be called Gloucestershire's most extreme 'sport' can be put down to the absolute adrenaline thrill of taking on such a steep and treacherous incline.
Some people win, some merely finish and many get injured - this year saw a number of broken bones, sprains and minor injuries - but all look back on the cheese rolling experience with fond memories. For all those taking part in this potentially dangerous race it seems to be a risk worth taking.
Cheese rolling is a tradition that has its roots in the ancient history of our country - it's something that seems to represent the British identity. As first race winner Jason Crowther noted:
"We can't lose these things - they're brilliant!"
Let us know what you make of Cheese Rolling by filling in the simple form at the very bottom of this page. Here's what many of you have already said...
the muffin man
who said my name??i come to those who call my name
i wanna do it
do u no the muffin man
I will enroll in the contest next year
i love cheese
i cant wait to enter
no its not in france or near paris. its in gloucester - NOT cheltenham so its a gloucester tradition. no foreigner or non locals shold be allowed to do it - only gloucesterpharians please.
Cheese rolling looks well fun but i wouldnt do it myself lol, it is well funni to see people running down a steap hill after and chuck of cheese well funni
This would be the best of fun and i'll be doing it for my project.
wow this cheese rolling is amazing
it looks really fun
hello edo you get drunk when you run because i could run faster
lol, i wana go
What a laugh!! I would love to try it. This is the best entertainment I've seen for ages. It beats reality T.V. shows by a mile!! Let's all throw a lump of cheese down a cliff face and run after it. Looks good to me!!
how sad can u get cheese racing lol arent u the cool ones
dont u ppl hav lives u wish to live for a long time?
its like nothing i've ever seen before! i would love to beable to go see this!! i hope its near paris because im going to school there my juinor year in high school as an exchange student(i live in texas) i dont think ill be falling down any hills anytime soon but i would love to watch other people do it! this makes america look so boring! j/k
The cheese rolling compition looks heaps fun I want to do it. Go Gloucester
I love the sport. I love to watch people rolling and falling.
you guys dont realize u need to run with an speed of 70 kilometer to keep up with the cheese?
I really think it's kewl what you guys are doing it's terrific!!!!!!!!!!!!
this seems like a fascinating sport! i think ill try it one day!
SIAN n titch
i love da cheese roll espically dis year with tash barnes and simonejoynes iyt was somuch jk br@@@@p!!
I WAS ASHAMED WHEN I CAME LAST IN THE UP HILL RACE
..wonderful!! very funny.. I'd like to download the video.. is there a chance? thanks.. [Sorry, streaming video is only available - The webmasters]
what a funny!
a truelly magnificent event but very weird
Holy. We read this article for English class. It seems so farfetched. :o I wonder how this was invented. "Let's chase cheese down a hill!" "Brilliant idea!" No offense. ^-^
Did race for first time in 2006, it's stupid, it's b****y dangerous and it's full of canned up aussies...had a great time!. p.s. sorry to the bloke i took out half way down the hill...hope you're out of casualty by now mate...see you next year, if it's not banned!
i duno if i wuld eva du it but looks good fun!! big up p*ss up wid all me mates n maybe one day ill du it so keep it goin lol
they should get a bigger cheese that weighs 2 stone and almost as good as aussie rules
i think the cheese roll is mazin i love goin up every yr to c all these people chase after a cheese !
As a new 'cheesefusi' I think You ougth to build a hill in the midlle of London - and compete every saturday at 3 o'clock. I suppose every European nation would like to send some cheese runners to bring home the tumbling cup. And all in all its more entertaining - and 10 times as funny - as a soccer match.
i tink dis is so gr8 dat we actuli av sutin gud dat happens in gloucester. i go up e3 year wid all da brockworth lot its amazin. jus a massive pis up aswel rli lol. but ye i tink it shud carry on!!!
I think they should a significantly larger cheese wheel.
you guys are so crazzie
brill keep it going
johnny be good
i like it
I was there yesterday and I had great time it was awesome.I din't race but it was fun.Well done to who raced there
well all i can say is... go for it it looks way fun would,nt do it personaly but id love to watch others having a laugh to scared to steep for me dont wanna ruin me pretty face haha.
I support such customary events it makes a country more unique. :)
i go 2 cheese roll every year n it is always mint!! all of u r brave!! xx
CONGRATS TO DIONE CARTER TO WIN 3RD TIME IN ROW CHEESE ROLLING FROM THE CARTERS IN FIJI
to all the people that think it is stupid to run dwn the cheese roll you are clearly wierd it is 1 of the best sports goin and wen im old anoff im gunna start to do the proper races
gary carter-fiji islands
congrats to my crazy daughter dione for winning third year in a row. luv u girl
i think they are messed up in the head!
im a cheese rolling VIRGIN! i can't wait to give it a go, its going to be Crazy!
hammy the burger
this is truly amazing sport fantastic
They should have a bigger piece of cheese
I haven't seen anything so bloody stupid. You pomeys never change!!!
ive been to the cheese rollig 2 years running and always compete in the uphill races, its great to compete in and great to watch
I personally would not have the courage to take part in cheeserolling-however my brother and his girlfriend are doing it this year for the stroke charity, i must say i am a little worried for their saftey, but people have their own choices and if this is one of them then good luck!!
May I suggest using a very nice Dutch Edam cheese. This would roll much better as it is more spherical. ADDED BONUS - Less chance of diverting off into the crowd. Just a thought you may want to take on board for future runs.
Its this kind of thing that makes Britain great, how about a wheelchair event?
oh my word..lol if you have fun then why not, i think i might go and watch one this year see what happens
i wanna go cheese rollin', if it's the only vacation outside of america i ever go on, i want my first broken bone to be at Gloucestershire. i also wouldn't mind if it killed me, i think it's great that the government allows it. i can't even skateboard in town, and you guys get to chase cheese down hills, lucky you. well, i'm off.
A little beacon of glee and lunacy in a sensible world! Oh happy happy joy joy! (not competing as need limbs for work and stuff)
No please don't stop this wonderful tradition. My brother & sister are coming up from London to watch this year's event. We cannot lose everything we love because of PC or safety grounds. Leave some things alone - and cheese-rolling is one of them
i rekon all the people who think its wrong should go home. its quality and i luv it!
I did the cheese rolling race the other year likes, and it was lush!!
I think Cheese Rolling should be stopped before someone gets killed by it. Why anybody would want to roll down a hill at full speed and risk their lives for a piece of cheese I don't know.
the chesse round is fun but i will not do it my self i live near where they do it and it is fun to watch
I think it is absolutely fantastic that something like this is still going.
Steven Peter Keates
Me and me old mate moog are doing it this year ... Rock n Roll man !!!
ohhhhh I wanna do cheese rolling!
I think everyone should have to have the opportunity to cheese roll.My wife and i will both be competing this year.
my form teacher did this once but said he broke his leg and arm ha ha
I'm pushing 92 now and ive only just found out about this beauty of a sport. I would give up me wife for a night for the chance to chase the cheese. Better be some good Wensleydale to put on me crackers otherwise it aint worth chasing. Look forward to the next big meet. Norm
Yeah, I'm from america. Cheese rolling sounds, uh, interesting
i find hilarious that peeps wil run down a hill for cheese
i would like to experience it mi self. it is so crazy XD
another a level p.e student
This is sooo cool i wish we did this as a sport in p.e!!!!!
"iv been pro rolling for many a year now! " thats just really dumb and funny "cheese rolling shud b an olympic event" PMSL O yes totally
i think this is weird
this is soo amazing, i cant believe that it was invented that long ago
JD + Allen
i love cheese! iv been pro rolling for many a year now! my friend hydrogen got me into it n now i cant get enough of the man cheese xxxx
I think its fab im i wanna try it myself
done the race befor its wicked and a gd tradition
no way!! carry on and let the cheese roll! i was crying with laughter as i watched the videos of 2005! well done!
Was there last year and it was amazing. Will defo be back to see Some carnage!!!!!!
6th form student
i do a level p.e and we study culture as one of the aspects of the course and cheese making is mentioned.. haha cool.. keep up the good work!!
cheese rolling shud b an olympic event
Cheese rolling is great .My hope is for it to contiue for ever
fantastic tradition admittedly we'd all love to be a successful gloucester chaser
i think that is awesome i hope that one day i will be a succesful cheese chaser! i love cheese.
what a legendy thing
Chris and Shaun
What a great event and a wonderful day out
i think it is a crazy event and so many people could get hurt plus it seems very fun and it's a big hill to run down
how can anyone be sad to do such a thing ? lol that is funny
power to the cheese-chasers i say... hopefully be there injuring myself in pursuit of some super-sonic fromage next year....
Its stupid: why would somebody hurtle down a hill after a cheese?!?!?! Please tell me!
i like cheese ... but not as its rolling down the hill! talk about making you work for your food!!
i think its a brilliant sport. i would love to take part in it, for a school project i am researching this topic. i would like to have a mock-cheese rolling competition down the hill behing our high school. it may n ot be as dangerous, but it should be interesting just the same. continue on dairy daredevils!
cheese rolling is immense. i fell about half way down, broke my left leg but still managed to complete the final 100m due to the steepness of the slope. i was in a cast for 6 months but it was worth it!!!!
I would love to have a go!!!!! Sounds like something brits need to partake in to make there lives more adventurous and not telly box based.
the funniest fing that i have eveeeeer seen
I love cheese too..and this years cheese rolling was AB FAB!! i was going to enter but i was wayy to scared... but afterall it is for the cheese..and cheese is amazing....
i love cheese, i dont think it will ever stop giving me enougth enjoyment
I stupidly decided to choose this topic for my Japanese course essay! Truely fabulous event but a nightmare to explain to the Japanese!
It's at least better than mountainbiking.... and it makes more sense.
Will cheese never stop giving so much enjoyment to all?
Tom and Day
I LOVE CHEESE, BUT I WAS IN HOSPITAL AFTER THE 2002 CHEESE RUN- B******S
Am sick of only seeing oz people's comments. AM from south africa and can only say...."mad dogs and englishmen......."
mike Dempsey (13 stroud)
i went to this great event in 2005 with my dad broyher and cousins it was a day i will remember for the rest of my life!!The speed of the people rolling down was breathtaking they where being thrown around like rag dolls and all for a bit of cheese! The man whos farm it is Mr. Hardwick is freinds with my dad and said that next year he will be catching the brocken bodies (fun!) and me and my brother will be in the press boxes with the perfect view and i you might get a shot of me on television! :)
Phillip from Australia
This is a very cool sport!!!
These Great men and women put their lives on the line for more than just God and Country. They strive for the great wheel of life itself, the sustenance that feeds the soul, ie. the Big Cheese. I take my hat off to them.
I LOVE CHEESE! I think that the people who do it are awesome!I am from America, and i think we should have a cheese rolling race as well! 2006 should be a great cheese experience! :)
its wikid and dey r all bonka's
I LOVE CHEESE!!!!!
I think this is a fun and fantastic sport!Cant say id ever do it myself but i congratulate the people who have enough balls to do it and enjoy it...GO MARK ELLIS!GO THE KIWIS!
i hate this stupid sport.....i hate everything i'm gonna kill my self. [Mike, We're sorry to hear that you’re feeling down. Many of us do feel that way at different times in our lives - you're not alone. If you need help or would just like to talk with someone, in the UK the Samaritans or Childline should be able to help. They’re open 24 hours a day, it’s a free phone call and the number won’t appear on your phone bill. Good luck. Samaritans: 08457 90 90 90, Childline: 0800 400 222]
True Brits! Eccentric and daring and keeping up their traditions
this is amazing! i'm coming over next year from the US to check this out...why don't we have cheeserolling here?
long may it last...like a good stilton.!!!
Cheese chasing chavs! Nice one!!!!! Can't wait to see the obligatory head over heels granny. Can't get better than that...
nah, leave it, it's great.
As the winner of the second race in 2005 (this year) i feel it would be a great loss to the city as i have participated for many years and i dont know anyone who hasn't enjoyed the thrill and adrenalin. Chris Anderson, Brockworth, Glos.
my brother luke mcchristie is a great brother he deserved to win the place he did but we are wanting him to win soon as my mum has won before so we are all cheering you for next year and hopfuly i will come somewere in the uphill race from shannon
This year is my 16th time at cheese rolling and it's as great now as it was the first time.where else would you get great atmosphere and some thing truley individual as cheese rolling long my it last
EVERY COUNTRY SHOULD-IT TELLS THE MEN FROM THE BOYS.
yer this shud be in the olympics people, this is a class sport
It was well gud this year!!! i luvvv it lol
I really really like meat. And cheese, and to a lesser extent rolling.
I missed this years cheese rolling event because i woz away servin my country,being a glos lad makes me even prouder 2 know that while i'm away the tradition of madness that i stand 4 is there 4 all 2 enjoy.Long may it continue and with any luck next years event will have myself taking part,pumped up on cider wettage.RRRRRR.
it was my first time there and i loved it i managede to get in the 2end race. i broke my color bone but i cant wait to try it again. there was a film crew there from early hours of the morning doing a doko on it i would love to see the out come of it
Wow! I'm doing a project on cheese rolling at school, I think its fantastic, rock on happy dairy daredevils!
This years was one of the greatest ever!
Its the most wonderful thing that I have ever seen. Its funny, good fun, entertainment and a great day out.
I think that this is very traditional event that is not just fun but a grate way to meet new people
there nuts but its nice to see as im in saudi and you dont see any thing like that here keep it up
frank the rabbit
me and a friend weren't quite in race four. there was a long wait for some attention seeker to be carted off the pitch after race 3, broken ankle or something. anyway we were next in line for race 5. anyway the crowd started milling and we thought that everyone was gonna storm race 4 so we deceided to make a run for it as well for fear of the hill was less than fear of being trampled and then falling down the hill. in the end they didn't but it was a worry. there was almost a fight, some kiwis in yellow giving the guy in nothing but a g-string hell about it. it the end i made it down the hill, minus my elvis wig, though it turned up later. in general, yes it was madness, tempers flared, cheese was won, wigs were lost and found, people were knocked out. but no deaths. what more could you want!!!
i think that it should not be stopped because i have not won it yet and it is a tradition
Baz (still limping a week later!)
I agree with Frank Rabbit - it was as dangerous queuing at the top as 'running' down! Needs to be better organised - have different coloured stickers for each race and give them out (on the flat bit at the top) 1st come 1st served. Then people can just rock up when it's time for their race.
well im from oz- and live in gloucestershire - and really annoyed i missed the carnage!! Next year...just you try to keep me away from that cheese!!
The cheese rollin is mad i love it! Ive lived in brockworth all my life come on u Brockites
Excellent this year, especially some crazy bloke in a red top at the end who kept running halfway up and back down, one time even bashing his head on a cool box! Madness i tells ya :P I' gunna be doing it next year.
All I cn say is ... MADNESS! I must go and see it next time
There was a short blonde chick that deserved to get the cheese... all 7 lbs of it! :)
Dan Jones (you know who i am walds!)
cheese rolling is a mad sport but its fun if it wasn't why do we go back every year? well done walds i told you you'd win!
this years was totally barmy! one guy i remember was unconcious before he was half way down the hill! a good job done by organisers and safety people, despite running out of ambulances at one point :D an awesome day out.
Frank the Rabbit
Keep it going. I went in it fully aware of how dangerous it was. It should be better organised though. The crowd should line up at the flat part of the hill on top not the slope, maybe also some kind of regitration to compete, to stop the choas of people trying to get in the race. Post photos soon please!! Where can videos of the races be obtained?
had a few friends who did it this year they enjoyed it..if people want to run down a hill after cheese up too them!
I was well up for throwing myself down the hill this year, but was scuppered by a badly-timed Uni exam. I'll be there next year!
No one is forcing them to do it, so I don't think it should be stopped. But it is a pretty crazy sport!
its wicked and halirous i like cheese go on people go get the cheese lol
yes this is "mad" but not as mad as invading iraq!
I remember a lad from a farm in Cranham in the mid 1980's didn't stop when he come to the fence at the bottom of the hill and got it embedded in his head !