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Thrill-seeking daredevils take part in annual Gloucestershire cheese-rolling race | UK News

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People from around the world descended on Cooper’s Hill in Brockworth, Gloucestershire, earlier for the annual cheese-rolling race.

Death-defying competitors ran, slid, and stumbled down the famous steep hill, all to try and win the coveted 8lb double Gloucester cheese.

This year’s race was made even more dangerous by the dry weather, making the ground harder and quicker for the runners, who were cheered on by thousands of spectators.

Max McDougall from Gloucestershire won the first race
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Max McDougall from Gloucestershire won the first race

The winner of the first men’s race was local man Max McDougall, 22, who won for the first time after years of coming second.

The previous champion, Chris Anderson, who has won 22 races over the last 15 years, was on holiday this year so did not compete.

Participants take part in the women's race during the annual cheese rolling competition at Cooper's Hill in Brockworth, Gloucestershire.
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People come from around the world to take part in the race

Mr McDougall said: “It was better than last year when I knocked myself out.

“I normally come second to Chris. I just went for it, pick a line and stick to it.”

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The official race was cancelled in 2010 after health and safety fears put a stop to it, however rebel rollers have been staging an unofficial event since.

Police had previously put a stop to real cheese being used, so last year fake foam cheese was used in its place – but this year competitors used the real deal.

Participants take part in the annual cheese rolling competition at Cooper's Hill in Brockworth, Gloucestershire.
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The cheese-rolling competition is held at Cooper’s Hill in Brockworth, Gloucestershire

Four cheeses that weigh about 3kg alongside another three smaller ones, weighing about 1.5kg, are used in the races.

The second men’s race was won by 29-year-old Ryan Fairly from Brockworth, with the final men’s race being won by Mark Kit, 21, from Toronto in Canada, who was inspired to take part after seeing videos of the sport as a child.

Talking about his win, Mr Kit said: “I didn’t know what was going on. I took the first 10 steps and I just started sliding and the next thing I knew I was at the bottom and nobody else beat me.

Participants take part in the third men's downhill race during the annual cheese rolling competition at Cooper's Hill in Brockworth, Gloucestershire.
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Thousands of people watched the annual race

“Now we’re going to the pub. My cousin showed me a video when I was 13 years old.

“I got bronchitis yesterday and I figured I wasn’t going to win the uphill race and going down is a lot easier.”

The women’s race was won for a fourth time by 28-year-old Flo Early from Stroud, who managed to sprain her ankle in the process.

Explaining her methods she said: “If you go fast from the beginning the hill will do the rest.

Winner of the women's race, Flo Early, 28, from Stroud, during the annual cheese rolling competition at Cooper's Hill in Brockworth, Gloucestershire.
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Flo Early sprained her ankle as she won the women’s race

“You want to keep your ankles heavy in the ground and aim for the gate – [those are] the tips I have been given.

“I’m done now, this is it, I’m retired. I’m in pain with this ankle, it’s a sprain but it feels pretty uncomfortable.”

The famous event has been celebrated for centuries, and is thought to be part of a heathen festival to celebrate the return of spring.

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