Get the Cheese!
June 6, 2009 10:26 PM   Subscribe

The Cooper's Hill cheese race is ridiculous and dangerous. The Dorset version of cheeseracing (previously), on the other hand, is completely sedentary and wisely swaps contusions for a minor risk of burns.

All that for a wheel of double Gloucester cheese ... AND to be tackled at the end by rugby players? The full name of the event is the Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake. Wake? Do they pre-plan funerals for some percentage of racers?
posted by ATXile (29 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
There's some real deadpan black comedy when they cut in the shots of people getting carried away in stretchers.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:35 PM on June 6, 2009

how does they get so bouncy?
posted by Cold Lurkey at 10:35 PM on June 6, 2009

For some reason I kept looking to see if anyone was wearing a snugliĀ®.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:46 PM on June 6, 2009

God, sedentary is such a great word.
posted by regicide is good for you at 10:46 PM on June 6, 2009

Cheesy rolls. Yum!
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:53 PM on June 6, 2009

For some reason I kept looking to see if anyone was wearing a snugliĀ®.

Thankfully no one took their baby along for the ride. But there was a guy wearing an over the shoulder thong so the whole thing wasn't without horror.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:53 PM on June 6, 2009

Wow, I bet that hill is amazing for sledding.
posted by paisley henosis at 11:16 PM on June 6, 2009 [2 favorites]

This kraft singles theory better be right or the owner of that crappy website is buying me a new barbeque hotplate.
*heads off to corner store for pack of individually wrapped cheese*
posted by nudar at 12:02 AM on June 7, 2009

No whey I would do that.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:06 AM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

The funny part is when they fall.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 12:20 AM on June 7, 2009

Maybe for roquefort.
posted by longsleeves at 12:28 AM on June 7, 2009

I watch this clip over and over just to see the guy in the green shirt and red pants ("Local cheese rolling legend Chris Anderson" I believe) appear to fall painfully, tumble most of the way down the hill, and then somehow land on his feet way in front of everyone else.

It's like Parkour, but with cheese.
posted by mmoncur at 1:06 AM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

The videos make the hill look quite sane. The photos, however...
posted by twine42 at 2:46 AM on June 7, 2009

That could only be done in one of those communist countries with universal healthcare. No chasing hoop cheese downhill for us in the good ol' USA, nosiree!
posted by TedW at 2:48 AM on June 7, 2009

Makes me proud to be British

(no, really, I'm not being sarcastic)

And judging by the comments on YouTube I think you have to be a Brit to really get it as well :P
posted by sunkzero at 3:01 AM on June 7, 2009

I took part in the cheese roll in 2003. Unfortunately, due to an earthquake in Turkey the emergency crew weren't available, so the organisers couldn't get insurance for the event. The cheese roll was cancelled.

What they didn't count on was that a pack of people mad enough to do this at all would still be mad enough to do it without organisation and all that rubbish. So despite the lack of crowds, medics, organisers and, worst of all, cheese, the cheese roll still took place. We'd sit at the top of the hill until there was a big enough crowd, then someone would toss something yellow front of us (a mango, a rubber duck, and a banana, to be precise. The hill is so steep that the banana rolled all the way to the bottom). And then you go.

You can get a good two or three leaps down the hill before gravity and momentum take over. The first few times I tried to keep some semblance of control by sliding down on my arse, but you only need to hit a rock or a pothole to get flipped onto your back. The best method really is to simply launch yourself downwards, abandon all semblance of control, and let yourself roll (well, bounce) all the way down.

Good clean fun, I say.
posted by twirlypen at 3:47 AM on June 7, 2009 [9 favorites]

AND to be tackled at the end by rugby players?

I thought they were there to help stop the momentum of the people FLYING down the hill.

This is awesome. I'd never do it, though.
posted by Lucinda at 6:14 AM on June 7, 2009

That hill is so steep. Pretty awesome!
posted by jouke at 6:19 AM on June 7, 2009

AND to be tackled at the end by rugby players?

Ah, thanks for quoting this Lucinda. I missed this in the main post and was about to comment on it. That was the funniest bit of the video.
posted by xorry at 6:49 AM on June 7, 2009

So, really, this has nothing to do with cheese, right?
posted by eriko at 7:07 AM on June 7, 2009

It has everything to do with the cheese. Dude, look at how bad those guys want that cheese!
posted by The Straightener at 7:28 AM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

I cannot believe these are not in the Olympics!
posted by tommasz at 8:40 AM on June 7, 2009

If this wasn't proof enough that Gloucestershire folk are a bit tapped but fearless, you only have to learn about their traditional sport of shin kicking.
posted by Abiezer at 8:46 AM on June 7, 2009

I was surprised to see that there is a separate women's race. Not surprised due to any kind of political correctness reasons, though. Surprised because, isn't this the kind of thing that usually only men are dumb enough to do?

Anyway, it is encouraging that the forces of darkness safety haven't managed to put a stop to all hazardous but fun activities yet. Although I don't think I would try this particular activity myself as it does appear to be quite hazardous indeed.
posted by FishBike at 9:49 AM on June 7, 2009

I'm surprised there was a separate women's race because it's not like men fall faster than women. I could roll/fall down that hill as fast as any man. And I would totally do it, though I might wear a helmet.
posted by jb at 9:56 AM on June 7, 2009

Maybe women prefer to be buffeted about and fallen on by other women, but would rather not be fallen on by men?

Just guessing here, but some of those guys were pretty big, and I would rather not have them fall on me, personally.
posted by paisley henosis at 11:14 AM on June 7, 2009

Too many commas.
posted by paisley henosis at 11:14 AM on June 7, 2009

See also... I love this country.
posted by Helga-woo at 1:25 PM on June 7, 2009

It's not readily apparent but there is a stone wall at the bottom of the hill just behind the rugby players.

My mother grew up in a village a stone's throw away and one of my uncles was a champion cheese roller at some point in the past. As one of nine children the cheese came in very handy.

Also see the decidedly more sedate but no less weird Ranwick Cheese Rolling, which takes place in a village fairly close by. This is tied in with the Randwick Wap, which dates back to medival times. Other local traditions include the St Briavels Bread and Cheese Dole and competitive raw onion eating.
posted by tallus at 6:26 PM on June 8, 2009

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