Chasing cheese wheels or lugging sacks of wool, UK competitors embrace quirky extreme races

LONDON (AP) — Dairy-loving daredevils threw warning to the wind Monday for one among Britain’s most excessive annual occasions: Cheese rolling.

Cheered by a number of thousand spectators, scores of reckless racers chased 7-pound (3 kilogram) wheels of Double Gloucester cheese down the near-vertical Cooper’s Hill, close to Gloucester in southwest England. The primary racer to complete behind the fast-rolling cheese in every race will get to maintain it.

The races have been held at Cooper’s Hill, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) west of London, since not less than 1826, and the game of cheese-rolling is believed to be a lot older.

The rough-and-tumble occasion typically comes with security considerations. Few opponents handle to remain on their ft all the way in which down the 200-yard (180 meter) hill.

This 12 months’s hill was particularly slippery and muddy after current rain. Members of an area rugby membership lined up on the backside to catch the tumbling opponents.

Winners of the three males’s races included native man Josh Shepherd in addition to opponents from Germany and Australia.

Abby Lampe from North Carolina gained the ladies’s race with a lighting-fast roll that left the remainder of the sector far behind.

“You simply need to roll,” stated Lampe, a graduate of NC State who additionally gained in 2022. “There’s a little bit little bit of ache, nevertheless it’s simply going to be short-term.”

Dozens of youngsters and adults additionally competed in safer and slower, however no much less grueling, uphill variations of the race, that are historically held on a late-Could nationwide vacation.

About 20 miles (32 kilometers) away within the city of Tetbury, opponents carried sacks of wool weighing as much as 60 kilos (27 kilograms) over a 240-yard (220-meter) course up and down steep Gumstool Hill.

The Tetbury Woolsack Races have been held since 1972, drawing on an area custom courting again to the seventeenth century within the historic wool-trading city.

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