See pictures from this year's unofficial cheese rolling race


Cheese rolling is a tradition that's been taken rather seriously in Gloucestershire for some time now.

To be precise, a cheese has been chased down the 200 yard, 1:2 gradient Cooper's Hill in Brockworth year since the early 1800s. But after health and safety fears caused the official competition to be cancelled in 2010, it had to become an unofficial event.

That didn't stop rebel racers though - some competitors still travelled from across the world to take part in the series of races on Bank Holiday Monday. Meanwhile, thousands of people lined the course to watch the madness.

(Joe Giddens/PA)

Long-time cheese-maker Diana Smart and her son Rod, who have produced cheese for the chase for more than 25 years, once again provided the wheels for this year's event.

Four cheeses weighing about 3kg each and three smaller ones, weighing about 1.5kg, are used. (You can play a fun game of "spot the cheese" with this picture...)

people rolling cheese down the roll
(Joe Giddens/PA)

The champion chaser was Chris Anderson. The 28-year-old left people trailing in his wake as he won the 8lb Double Gloucester (yes, they get to keep the cheese they win, how amazing) for the 17th time.

And he doesn't even like cheese. For real.

champion holds up cheese
(Joe Giddens/PA)

Explaining his winning technique, Chris simply said: "I try and get the same sort of line and try and do the same sort and thing and win."

But it doesn't look like this guy's technique went quite so well...Ouch. *cringes*

man takes a tumble
(Joe Giddens/PA)

To be fair, warning signs were put up near the route warning spectators - and competitors - they were attending entirely at their own risk.

The winner of the women's race wasn't put off by that though. Flo Early, 25, first won as a teenager in 2008.

women's race
(Joe Giddens/PA)

She only decided to take part this year at the last minute having been in hospital earlier this week with a kidney infection, and she was still suffering from a sore arm caused by a drip.

Flo, who currently lives in Berlin, had returned to her family in Stroud for her brother's 30th birthday.

"It's pretty good to win and I like a bit of cheese," Miss Early said.

Well, we reckon that's a perfectly good reason to take part. How much do you want cheese and crackers right about now?!