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Andrew Brewin enjoys his hard-won cheese
By Tim Telling
The world famous Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling returned with a bang for 2006: more races, more faces and more maniacs...
Cooper’s Hill, May Day , 2006: The weather was suitably chaotic, veering between blinding sunshine, driving rain and dense hail; a fitting backdrop for the madness about to ensue.
The sides of the steep hill were lined with eager - some might say bloodthirsty - spectators, jostling for the best vantage point from which to watch the carnage unfold.
The ‘Competitor’s Arena’ (aka the top of the hill) was almost as packed. Hundreds of brave or foolhardy souls travel from all corners of the globe to risk life and limb in pursuit of a dairy product with an approximate retail value of £12.99.
Joining the more serious racers were a selection of outlandishly dressed attention-seekers: superheroes, sumo wrestlers and a shivering girl in a Union Jack swimming costume.
The main event passes in a blur of tumbling humans. It’s impossible to know where to look, and each race is over before you can say “ouch“. Victory, it seems, depends less on being a good runner than a fast faller; it’s all about throwing caution to the wind.
Three of the five race winners were previous champions. Whether it was strategy, athleticism or just a complete disregard for self-preservation, Chris Anderson, Dione Carter, and Jason Crowther proved yet again that they had the 'right stuff'.
The fourth race was declared void when the over-eager horde threw themselves down the hill before the Double Gloucester had been released. Brockworth lad Chris Anderson came an impressive first in both this 'illegal' race and its official replay. His head-over-heels tactics left him looking decidedly woozy (“I‘m a bit sore,” he said), but after a quicky medical exam he was deemed fit to bask in his glory before the assembled press pack.
Organisers reported the usual crop of relatively minor injuries: sprains, strains and breakages. Most of the competitors, however emerged battered but beaming.
And so another muddy, frenetic cheese roll drew to a close. The racers began to walk or limp home, bruised, embattled but mostly just intoxicated by the sheer thrill of the country’s most anarchic sporting event.
Men's Race 1 Results:
1st - Jason Crowther (South Wales)
Men's Race 2 Results:
1st - Craig Fairley (Brockworth)
Women's Race Results:
1st - Dione Carter (New Zealand)
Men's Race 3 Results:
1st - Chris Anderson (Brockworth)
Men's Race 4 Results:
1st - Andrew Brewin (Souhhampton)
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...
paris - aged 7 - christchurch school,
jessica, faye nd colette
last updated: 15/04/2009 at 13:39
Have Your Say
What you think think of the cheese rollers - dairy daredevils or double Gloucester dimwits? Would you like to have a go? Or should it be stopped?
vikkiie, samiie, Gloucester
vikkiie, samiie, Gloucester
cassie n kerry