Gloucestershire

Cheese-rolling veteran equals all-time record

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Media captionCheese wheels are chased down Cooper's Hill in Gloucestershire

Thousands of spectators have attended the traditional cheese-rolling races at Cooper's Hill in Gloucestershire.

Each year people turn out to watch thrill-seekers hurl themselves 200 yards down the 1:2 gradient, chasing wheels of double Gloucester cheese.

This year's race saw a champion cheese-roller from Brockworth equal the all-time record for the most cheeses won.

Chris Anderson won all three men's downhill races which means he has taken home 20 cheeses in 13 years.

The 29-year-old's tally now equals that of record holder Stephen Gyde.

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Image caption Chris Anderson from Brockworth won all three men's races matching the all-time record for the most cheeses won

Mr Anderson said he felt "overwhelmed and exhausted" after finishing the contest and was looking forward to celebrating.

"It's brilliant to have equalled the record, hard to put into words, so happy," he said.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Thousands of spectators attended the traditional cheese-rolling races at Cooper's Hill in Gloucestershire.

He added that he "looks forward" to coming back next year and beating Mr Gyde's record.

Mr Anderson has famously said he does not like double Gloucester as it is "too strong", so this year he will be auctioning one of his cheeses off for charity, and giving the other two away to family.

One family member who has a cheese of her own is Mr Anderson's niece Kacey, who won the 11-15's race for the third year in a row.

She said: "I'm feeling very tired, but I tried my best and just thought I'm going to give it another shot and see if I can get it."

The women's race was won by 18-year-old Keavy Morgan, also from Brockworth, who has now had two victories after first winning in 2015.

Another participant was TV presenter and adventurer Ben Fogle who described the race as "a quintessentially eccentric British event".

"I've always wanted to do it, and I can finally say I ran after the cheese down Cooper's Hill," he added.

Image copyright PA
Image caption TV presenter Ben Fogle took part in the race (top left) which he described as "a quintessentially eccentric British event"

Cheese rolling dates back to at least the early 19th Century. It is thought it began as a festival to celebrate the return of spring.

In 2009, the official event was scrapped after more than 15,000 people turned up, sparking safety fears over numbers at the site.

Every year since then unofficial races have been organised during the late spring bank holiday by local enthusiasts.

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