Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake

There is a lot of worthless crap out there, and I’m not just talking about the Snuggie. There may be hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of what basically is a backwards robe sold in the U.S. But this latest installment of infomercial fever is absolutely absurd.

Now don’t get me wrong, if the product truly produces the results you see on the commercial, it’s a great idea. I can just see thousands of people getting this to lose their neck fat rather than trying to look younger. (You may have gotten rid of that double chin but your muffin top isn’t that easy on the eyes either.) Perhaps the only thing more stupid would be chasing a block of cheese down a 45° hill…WHAT?

The Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake is an event held every year on the Spring Bank Holiday at Cooper’s Hill near Gloucester, England. The event is basically what I described; a round block of cheese is released from the top of a hill as contestants race after it. The first person to cross the finish line at the bottom wins the event along with the block of cheese. Though competitors are aiming to catch the cheese, since it has a one second head start and reaches speeds up to 70 mph (112 Km/h), anyone trying is out of luck.

While the origin of the event is unclear, people believe the festivity may date back to Roman times. The cheese itself is not bought at the local market but is a block of Double Gloucester, a hard cheese made named after the nearly extinct breed of cow its milk comes from. Since 1988, the cheese has been supplied by local cheesemaker Diana Smart.

the 'Cheese Master'

Did you know?- With the introduction of rationing in World War II, the race used a wooden replica with a hollow in the center where a smaller piece of cheese was placed from 1941 to 1954.

The fun part of these races is waiting for someone to injure themselves which doesn’t take long. Afflictions range from sprained ankles to broken bones to concussions. The large numbers of injuries have made the local first aid service, St. John Ambulance, a regular in attendance along with a volunteer rescue group that carries those who don’t reach the bottom.

Due to its growing popularity, more than one race is held to accommodate all contestants. In 2005, one race had to be delayed because all the ambulances were transporting casualties from the previous run to the hospital.

I want to know…If you could chase anything down a hill what would it be? Leave a comment below.

1 comment:

  1. I think that may be one of the stupidest things I have ever seen people do.