Gloucestershire: Best faces from the annual cheese roll race

There have been more than a few cheese hunter falls (Pictures: Getty)

Hundreds of people took part in the cheese roll race in Gloucestershire today despite weather warnings of thunderstorms and lightning.

The event, held for the first time since the pandemic, gathered attendees atop the nearly vertical Cooper’s Hill in the village of Brockworth.

Here, a 9-pound loaf of Double Gloucester cheese, capable of speeds in excess of 70 miles per hour, was lowered down the hill.

Competitors trudge down the 200 meter slope and the first to make it to the end wins the cheese.

Many usually crash and this year was no different.

Wet conditions made it particularly difficult, even for experienced cheese hunters, who tumbled down the slippery grass leaving them muddy and a little bruised.

It was all over in seconds as former champion Chris Anderson won his 23rd race in 2019 after a year off.

Competitors in the men’s downhill race couldn’t keep up with the climb (Picture: Getty)
North Carolina’s Abby Lampe celebrates winning the women’s race with former winner Flo Early (Image: Getty)
This contestant’s face says it all (Image: Getty)

The soldier, who lives in Brockworth, said this would be his last year in the competition after having a daughter during the pandemic.

Holding a record of 22 wins over 15 years, he won three races in 2018, taking home three top cheeses.

When Mr Anderson held his cheese over his head for a photo on Sunday, onlookers erupted in applause.

“This is the 23rd and last time,” he stressed. “I was so scared before.”

Meanwhile, North Carolina’s Abby Lampe clinched her victory in the women’s race.

She was seen partying with previous winner Flo Early by her side.

Later races – all capped at 25 people each – saw tourists take first prizes.

Some participants even traveled from South Korea to tackle the steep slope.

Chris Anderson poses for a photo with the cheese

Chris Anderson poses for a photo with the cheese after winning the first men’s downhill race (Image: Getty)
This year’s weather conditions made the race even more difficult (Image: Getty)
Robbe Gabriels and Amr El Shourbagya kiss the Jubilee Cheese after their win (Picture: Getty)

Robbe Gabriels from Belgium said after his win: “I saw a video on Facebook five years ago.

“And I like to do crazy, stupid things. It’s crazy to win and a great feeling.’

Regarded as one of the world’s most bizarre feats of strength events, it has been celebrated for centuries despite the shadow of health and safety risks.

People get injured at every event – with a series of broken bones and sprains – but many attendees, like Mr Anderson, always come back for the next one.

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Justin Scacco

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