Locals gather every year at Spring Bank Holiday at Cooper's Hill, near Gloucester in England, to witness a bizarre and painful competitive event that makes most endurance sports look like a walk in the park.
The event is called The Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake, and it's an annual tradition dating back to the early 1700s.
Competitors are either really hungry for cheese, or they want to recreate the Little House on the Prairie tumble on steroids for an Instagram post.
Okay, so neither option is the motive, but rather, the race is all about chasing cheese and who catches it first; However, don't underestimate the ferocity of this quirky event. This is serious rough-and-tumble business.
A 9-pound wheel of Double Gloucester cheese rolls down from the top of the hill with a one-second lead before contestants chase after it as if their life depended on it.
The rule is simple: whoever gets to the bottom of the hill first wins, and their prize is the evasive hunk of the pressed coagulation of the milk protein, casein. Rest assured, the winner gets the wheel of cheese but without all the mud and blades of grass stuck to it.
At the cheese rolling in Gloucestershire. Pics can't convey the angle! Audible gasps when people see it.… https://t.co/ru75nHUoZs— Pete MacLeod (@Pete MacLeod)1527502404.0
Don't let the race's simplicity fool you. That elusive chunk of cheese can reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour as it rolls down the hill with a 1:2 gradient and has enough force to knock over a spectator. Now consider the human body careening down a hill with almost the same velocity.
@petemacleod84 Cooper's Hill is almost vertical!— 🎨 Nicky Pasquier: Canva Certified Creative (@🎨 Nicky Pasquier: Canva Certified Creative)1527519138.0
For safety reasons, the cheese was replaced by a foam replica in 2013.
Both spectators and competitors are always amped for the annual madness.
Lived in Gloucestershire for 16 years but this is the first time we’ve made it to the #cheeserolling. It’s complete… https://t.co/Mf2aLCB4jJ— Jason Dean (@Jason Dean)1527505868.0
Cheese rolling! (Not me) https://t.co/594PTzQOaM— Jon McGinty (@Jon McGinty)1527506670.0
Chris Anderson was the winner this year, and he's not even keen on the actual prize.
Local hero Winner Chris Anderson takes title for umpteenth year before telling me ‘I don’t eat it Double Gloucester… https://t.co/WmyS2q4SBh— richardpayneITV (@richardpayneITV)1527506379.0
@richardpayneitv @itvwestcountry @CheeseRollingUK Well done! 🧀👏🏼 https://t.co/ImQqFzZgqh— Rachel Few 🧚🏼♂️ (@Rachel Few 🧚🏼♂️)1527519517.0
Chris Anderson from Brockworth breaks the #CheeseRolling record with 21 wins under his belt 🧀🎉🎉🎉 @GlosLiveOnline 📸S… https://t.co/Cg69S6iL76— Louisa Baldwin (@Louisa Baldwin)1527507697.0
Anderson is clearly in it for the adrenaline rush since he donates his edible trophy. Even though it was all downhill for him from the start, he still came out a real winner.