Each year on May Bank Holiday, thousands of people gather around Coopers Hill for the annual Cheese Rolling event. The race is essentially the first person to get to the bottom of the hill and their prize is the cheese that they have been chasing down said hill. It is as dangerous as it sounds and is one of the reasons why the event holders organise for Event Medical Cover similar to the one provided by https://outdoormedicalsolutions.co.uk/event-medical-cover/
The Cheese Roll race has been held since around the 15th Century but its original reason for being held is uncertain. Some think that it had to do with grazing rights on the land and others link it to a pagan ritual where burning brushwood that was bound into bundles was rolled down the hill to signify the start of the New Year. Whatever its origin the event seems to increase in popoularity year after year.
The cheese that is used today is a Double Gloucester wheel and it is thought that it weighs around 7-9lbs which is about 3.1-4kgs. Double Gloucester is used as it is a hard cheese which makes it suitable for throwing and rolling down a hill. The aim is to try and catch the cheese although with a cheese that can reach up to speeds of 70mph and given a 1 second head start on you it is incredibly unlikely that anyone will catch hold of it.
There is a total of four races held each year, one for women and three for men with a total of 15 runners allowed in each race. Instead of the standard “ready steady go” the phrase “One be ready, two be steady, three to prepare and four to be off” is spoken. The cheese is released at “three to prepare”. Chris Anderson has collected a staggering 22 cheeses over the years that he has entered the races. He has become a bit of a local celebrity and each year more and more people turn up to watch the event to see whether he can reign champion for yet another year. The record was held by Stephen Gyde who had won a total of 21 cheeses over the years that he competed.
So how do you enter?
Well you simply walk to the top of the hill and wait for the cheese to be released and then run, slide, skip, fall after it!