Daredevils from around the world have thrown themselves down a steep hill in the annual death-defying Cheese Rolling Race.
Brave competitors sprinted, tripped and tumbled down Cooper’s Hill in Brockworth, Gloucestershire to try and win the 8lb Double Gloucester.
The recent dry weather had made then racetrack hard and even faster for the competitors who were cheered on by thousands of spectators.
The winner of the first men’s downhill race was Max McDougall, 22, from Brockworth, who won for the first time as champion cheese chaser Chris Anderson, 31, who has the record of 22 wins over the past 15 years did not compete as he was on holiday.
Last year Anderson broke the record held by Stephen Gyde after winning the first of three men’s downhill races.
The women’s race was won by Flo Early, 28, who picked up a Double Gloucester for the fourth time, after winning in 2008, 2016 and 2018, but also managed to sprain her ankle in the process.
Early, from Stroud, Gloucestershire, explained her methods.
“If you go fast from the beginning the hill will do the rest,” she said.
“You want to keep your ankles heavy in the ground and aim for the gate – that’s 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.”
But the event wasn’t without incident as one competitor was stretchered off the course with a suspected fractured ankle after falling during the second race.
Rebel cheese rollers have been staging their own unofficial event after health and safety fears caused the official competition to be cancelled in 2010. Police do, however, keep a watchful eye.
The cheese is chased 200 yards down the hill. Four cheeses weighing about 3kg each and three smaller ones, weighing about 1.5kg, are used.
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.
The competition has been celebrated for centuries and is thought to have its roots in a heathen festival to celebrate the return of spring.