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Old 05-29-2009, 12:32 AM   #1
Undertoad
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May 29, 2009: Gloucester Cheese Rolling 2009

My favorite IotDs, if I may say so m'self, are the ones that capture some weird festival, like the Spanish Tomatino or Delaware's Punkin Chunkin. Of course these festivals may suffer from success, and so it may be a mixed blessing to publicize them. The best answer is to start more such festivals.

Well here is an awesome one I hadn't heard of: the Gloucester Cheese Rolling.

Apparently it's an old tradition.

You start with an extremely steep hill.



It's very steep. View from the top:



Spectators line the sides of the hill. (image courtesy flickr user acechick)



Then you take a round of Double Gloucester cheese...



On a count of three, an official rolls it down the steep hill... (image courtesy flickr user urgent_98)



And when the count reaches four, a set of racers run down the hill chasing the cheese! (image courtesy flickr user Dave Withnall)



They're off! (thx acechick) (notice the rolling cheese in the middle there)



The first to reach the cheese will win the race.

But there's a catch.

You see, the hill is so extremely steep, the cheese goes very fast, and there's simply no way a person running down the steep hill can win the race and stay on their feet.

So everybody in the race starts to tumble. (image courtesy flickr user Nick 8890)



In fact, the hill is so steep that you can't help but tumble if you are running down it. So within seconds, everybody is tumbling! (thx acechick)



And they all tumble down to the bottom, spending most of their time upside-down, hand-standing, rolling, running into other racers... it's hilarious!

The women's race. Notice that NOBODY is on their feet. Most runners spend more than half the race tumbling. (urgent_98)



And tumbling HARD. There are faceplants a-plenty. The wipeouts can be really stunning, and are the whole point of it all. (Nick 8890)



In fact you can't imagine it happening without people getting really hurt. And so, yes there are casualties, and a set of emergency staff to cart off the injured. (urgent_98)



A set of human tacklers will stop you once you reach the bottom, if you haven't stopped yourself by then.



Winner winner cheesy dinner! (Nick 8890)



Oh but you MUST see the video. Required viewing:



Official cheese rolling website.

Many thanks to the Flickr folks who agreed to share their shots with us!
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:45 AM   #2
Aliantha
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I want to know why anyone would do it naked except for shoes and undies...and I'd then like to know if anyone would want to tackle him when he gets to the bottom. lol
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:52 AM   #3
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That Looks Like Fun !!

Mad Dogs and English men in the Noon day sun !!!!!
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:58 AM   #4
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If they stop you at the bottom how do you get to the cheese?
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Old 05-29-2009, 01:18 AM   #5
Undertoad
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They say the cheese rolls at 70 mph (or maybe kph?) so there is really no chance at catching it. I think you just cross the finish line.
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Old 05-29-2009, 01:55 AM   #6
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More at Boston.com.
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Old 05-29-2009, 03:13 AM   #7
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Joy!

Its not about the cheese - even if you get it in the end.
Its more about human nature - doing crazy stuff and enjoying it!
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Old 05-29-2009, 03:29 AM   #8
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Note: "set of human tacklers" are from a local rugby club. Their jerseys are clearly marked. I never knew my skills from rugby may one day land me a prestigious job tackling on a hillside rife with tumbling women. No poofta's need apply.
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Old 05-29-2009, 06:03 AM   #9
SPUCK
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The lady in the wheel chair?
Yes, she's paralyzed.
She steers it by blowing on a little pipe.
It happens as she ran down a hill chasing uncatchable cheese...
Yes dear, it's very good cheese.
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Old 05-29-2009, 06:16 AM   #10
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fetta-l attraction?

Well, everyone else had a gouda time.
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:18 AM   #11
capnhowdy
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They should release a couple dozen angry bulls when the count hits seven. Now that WOULD be interesting. Not that this isn't.
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:43 AM   #12
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How do they stop a rolling cheese even if they catch it? And who gets to cut the cheese?
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMercenary View Post
Note: "set of human tacklers" are from a local rugby club. Their jerseys are clearly marked. I never knew my skills from rugby may one day land me a prestigious job tackling on a hillside rife with tumbling women. No poofta's need apply.
Yes, they must use the Union blokes for the girls race, and prise the League guys off each other to work on the boys race.
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:38 AM   #14
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And did anyone think to yell "As you wish" whilst rolling down the hill?
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:39 AM   #15
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What an excellent group of pictures!
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