Fun begins with a Cheese
I have had my heart set on seeing the infamous Gloucester Cheese Rolling contest since I read about it a week ago. Nothing could deter me, not even the 80% chance of rain. I dragged The Husband out of the flat early Monday morning and we set out to Gloucester. We made it there by 10:30 and waited in queue to park on the already slippery informal car-park hill.
It took us almost 20 minutes to climb to the top via the very muddy path. I could hardly walk up it let alone imagine throwing myself off the top and trying to run.
We’d thought we’d left early enough to get a good spot but I think there must have been people waiting for hours. We headed back down the path and found our way to the bottom of the hill. We couldn’t really stand there due to the many waiting ambulances. We finally found a spot to the left of the hill leaning on a tree. I was very glad for the trees later when it really started raining.
Catchers, catching contestants as they make it to the bottom:
Cooper’s Hill, side view:
The first race started at noon. It was hilarious and over very quickly. There was a slight delay while an ambulance carried off the first casualty. Then there was an uphill race for boys under 12. One lad made it up the hill far ahead of the pack of twenty. Most of them lost steam 3/4 up the hill and three poor boys were too exhausted to go on and had to be rescued by the catchers. The ladies race was third and the winner was insanely fast. She made it almost to the bottom of the hill without falling. The knowledgable chap behind us commented, “This bitch is going to the beat the cheese.” We started trying to leave after the fourth race and got caught in a wet, muddy, slow motion stampede of people at the bottom of the hill. We understand how it is people get stampeded at a football matches.
I have a great little video of the second race and I’ve tried six times to upload it to both Youtube and WordPress but I keep getting a FAILED message. So here’s the official clip: