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Last Updated: Monday, 29 May 2006, 16:09 GMT 17:09 UK
Dozens hurt in cheese roll race
A man in an Australian flag races down Cooper's Hill during the contest

A teenager who knocked himself out while chasing a Double Gloucester cheese down a hill was among 25 people hurt in a Cheese Rolling competition.

Chris Anderson, 18, won one of the five races which make up the annual contest, in which dozens of people race down a 1:2 gradient hill after a large cheese.

St John Ambulance workers at the race, on Coopers Hill in Brockworth, said two people were taken to hospital.

One spectator was given treatment after being hit by a runaway cheese.

The competition, which is thought to date back hundreds of years, consists of a series of downhill races with the winner of each receiving a seven to eight pound circle of cheese. Runners up get 10 and there is a 5 prize for third place.

I'm going to take my cheese to the pub and have a party
Jason Crowther,
race winner

People from as far afield as America, Australia, Norway and Sweden travel to the village every year to take part.

Mr Anderson said: "I just ran, fell and hit my head. I feel sore but it was definitely worth it."

The women's race was won for the third consecutive year by New Zealander Dione Carter, who said she now planned to retire from the competition.

The 26-year-old nanny from Auckland said: "I feel great, it's fantastic to come here again and win and I suppose I'm just very lucky to win again because there's no real technique to it."

Cheese Rolling competitor Chris Anderson, who was knocked out
Last year Chris Anderson was carried off after hurting his ankle

Other races were won by Jason Crowther, 24, from Pembrokeshire, west Wales, who took the title for the second year in a row, medical student Andrew Brewin, 20, from Reading, and Craig Fairley, 20, from Brockworth.

Mr Crowther said: "I have no real tactic I just ran and hoped for the best. I'm going to take my cheese to the pub and have a party."

Jim Jones, St John Ambulance operations training manager, said 12 spectators and 13 competitors had been injured during the event.

"It was quite a reasonable year, not too bad at all," he said. "We usually average around 30-40 people who need treatment.

"The most serious injuries this year appear to be a dislocated finger and a possible fractured ankle."

Organiser Richard Jefferies said the wet conditions had helped keep the number of injuries down.

"The rain I think actually helped because it meant people were more likely to slip down the slope than go head over heels," he said.


SEE ALSO:
St John's ready for flying cheese
27 May 06 |  Gloucestershire
Three hurt in cheese rolling race
30 May 05 |  Gloucestershire
Cheese rolling cancelled
25 May 03 |  Gloucestershire


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