You haven't lived until you've watched grown men run after cheese.

By Mike Pomranz
Updated June 01, 2017
cheese rolling
Credit: Barcroft Media / Getty Images

Despite the many similarities between the two countries, the United States and the United Kingdom still have plenty of differences, especially in the world of sport. For instance, the British play football with their feet. Meanwhile, in our version, Americans barely use their feet at all – a fact that earns American football plenty of ridicule across the pond. But for those in the States looking for a way to jibe those back in England, here’s something we can be proud of: We don’t have a competition where you chase a nine-pound wheel of cheese down a muddy 200-yard embankment.

Over the weekend, competitors did that exact cheese chase during the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling challenge in the English county of Gloucester, participating in an event that started way back in 1826. The event sounds ridiculous, and video, in fact, confirms that it is. Dozens of people struggle to stand upright (and inevitably fail) as they follow a wheel of double Gloucester down a wet, grassy hill while thousands watch and jeer them on from the sidelines.

As absurd as the competition may seem, assumedly some sort of strategy for victory must exist seeing as, this year, 29-year-old Chris Anderson won all three of the men’s downhill races – also claiming a large cheese wheel as his price for each triumph. The Brockworth local has now taken home 20 such cheeses in 13 years, equaling the record for most decorated Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling champion of all-time. (Stephen Gyde is the man Anderson is currently tied with. Gyde at least deserves a parenthetical mention for his life’s work) Meanwhile, Anderson’s niece Kacey won the race for 11- to 15-year-olds for the third year in a row. Maybe some people are just genetically-inclined to follow the cheese.

“It's brilliant to have equaled the record, hard to put into words, so happy,” Anderson said after the race according to the BBC. However, he had no trouble finding the words for how he feels about double Gloucester cheese. “Too strong,” he reportedly said. So instead of eating his prizes, this year two will be given away to family and one will be auctioned off for charity. Anderson also said he “looks forward” to coming back next year and actually breaking the record for all-time victories – as well as winning more cheese he doesn’t even like.