The Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling competition has fast become my yearly sports obsession, and by “sports obsession” I mean “I enjoy watching people rag doll down hills”. Thankfully this year didn’t let us down.
Every year, British people line up to chase a wheel of cheese rolling down a hill, often injuring themselves horrifically in the process. Broken ankles, dislocated shoulders, and head injuries are the norm — but that didn’t stop a record number of people from attempting to catch the cheese over the weekend.
Thousands of spectators turned out to watch thrill-seekers hurl themselves down the 1:2 gradient, chasing wheels of double Gloucester cheese weighing a hefty 8lb (3.6kg) down Cooper’s Hill, near Gloucester in England.
In the first men’s downhill race, Mr Anderson left other daredevils trailing in his wake as he sprinted, tripped and tumbled down the rough, uneven hillside chasing the 70mph cheese.
“There was a bit more pressure this year as there was a few more locals running,” he said, after the race.
“And the kid next to me was pulling my shirt all the way down.
“But I’m happy, I’ve got nothing to prove now.”
A soldier with 1 Rifles, Mr Anderson skipped the second men’s race but won again in the third race tearing his left calf as he charged downhill.
And his reward – as with all winners – is to take the cheeses home with him despite only liking cheddar.
Among the competitors this year was Australian Nathan Anstey, 30, from Melbourne, who took part wearing just a pair of “budgie smuggler” swimming trunks.
Mr Anstey, who is known as Mangoes, said it was “just unbelievable”.
“Last year was the first time I did it and I knew I had to come back. It’s a no-brainer,” he said.
“It’s the most exhilarating thing you can do.”