Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Annual Cheese Rolling

Yesterday was the annual Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling in Gloucester, England. In the five races (one for ladies only), competitors hurl themselves down the hill after a wheel of Double Gloucester cheese. The hill that is so steep that the cheese can reach speeds of 70 mph (the wheel of cheese knocked over and injured a spectator in 1997). The first person to fall over the finish line wins the cheese and the 2nd and 3rd place finishers receive a small cash prize.

The tradition is at least 200 years old and may date back to the Roman time. Because of the steepness of the hill and its uneven surface, injuries are not uncommon but generally not too serious. In 2005, the race was delayed while waiting for the available ambulances to return from the hospital after transporting casualties from previous races.

At the end of the races, sweets are scattered on the hill for children.

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