Competitors take a tumble in annual cheese rolling race

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Competitors take a tumble in annual cheese rolling race

Thousands of people turned up to watch the annual cheese rolling competition in the English village of Brockworth on Monday.

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The traditional spectacle involves chasing a wheel-shaped Double Gloucester cheese weighing 3.6 kilograms (eights pounds) down Cooper's Hill.

First person to the finish line at the bottom wins the cheese.

The event dates back to the early 1800s and attracts both competitors and spectators from around the world.

See photos from the event:

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Competitors take a tumble in annual cheese rolling race
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Competitors take a tumble in annual cheese rolling race
Competitors tumble down Cooper's Hill in pursuit of a round Double Gloucester cheese during the annual Cooper's Hill cheese rolling competition near the village of Brockworth, Gloucester, in western England, on May 30, 2016. The annual Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling involves hordes of fearless competitors chasing an eight pound Double Gloucester cheese down a steep hill. The slope has a gradient in places of 1-in-2 and in others 1-in-1, its surface is very rough and uneven and it is almost impossible to remain on foot for the descent. The winner of the downhill race wins the cheese. / AFP / ADRIAN DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A competitor comes tumbling down the hill in pursuit of a round Double Gloucester cheese during the annual Cooper's Hill cheese rolling competition near the village of Brockworth, Gloucester, in western England, on May 30, 2016. The annual Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling involves competitors chasing an eight pound Double Gloucester cheese down a steep hill. The slope has a gradient in places of 1-in-2 and in others 1-in-1, its surface is very rough and uneven and it is almost impossible to remain on foot for the descent. The winner of the downhill race wins the cheese. / AFP / ADRIAN DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Chris Andersen (Below L) gets ahead of his fellow competitors as they tumble down Cooper's Hill in pursuit of a round Double Gloucester cheese during the annual Cooper's Hill cheese rolling competition near the village of Brockworth, Gloucester, in western England, on May 30, 2016. Anderson went on to win two out of the four races taking his total to 15 cheeses over the years. The annual Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling involves hordes of fearless competitors chasing an eight pound Double Gloucester cheese down a steep hill. The slope has a gradient in places of 1-in-2 and in others 1-in-1, its surface is very rough and uneven and it is almost impossible to remain on foot for the descent. The winner of the downhill race wins the cheese. / AFP / ADRIAN DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Men take part in an uphill race during the annual Cooper's Hill cheese rolling competition near the village of Brockworth, Gloucester, in western England, on May 30, 2016. The annual Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling involves hordes of fearless competitors chasing an eight pound Double Gloucester cheese down a steep hill. The slope has a gradient in places of 1-in-2 and in others 1-in-1, its surface is very rough and uneven and it is almost impossible to remain on foot for the descent. The winner of the downhill race wins the cheese. / AFP / ADRIAN DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Men take part in an uphill race during the annual Cooper's Hill cheese rolling competition near the village of Brockworth, Gloucester, in western England, on May 30, 2016. The annual Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling involves hordes of fearless competitors chasing an eight pound Double Gloucester cheese down a steep hill. The slope has a gradient in places of 1-in-2 and in others 1-in-1, its surface is very rough and uneven and it is almost impossible to remain on foot for the descent. The winner of the downhill race wins the cheese. / AFP / ADRIAN DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Florence Early chases the cheese on her way to winning the women's race ahead of her fellow competitors as they tumble down Cooper's Hill in pursuit of a round Double Gloucester cheese during the annual Cooper's Hill cheese rolling competition near the village of Brockworth, Gloucester, in western England, on May 30, 2016. The annual Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling involves hordes of fearless competitors chasing an eight pound Double Gloucester cheese down a steep hill. The slope has a gradient in places of 1-in-2 and in others 1-in-1, its surface is very rough and uneven and it is almost impossible to remain on foot for the descent. The winner of the downhill race wins the cheese. / AFP / ADRIAN DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Competitors tumble down Cooper's Hill in pursuit of a round Double Gloucester cheese (Below R) during the annual Cooper's Hill cheese rolling competition near the village of Brockworth, Gloucester, in western England, on May 30, 2016. The annual Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling involves competitors chasing an eight pound Double Gloucester cheese down a steep hill. The slope has a gradient in places of 1-in-2 and in others 1-in-1, its surface is very rough and uneven and it is almost impossible to remain on foot for the descent. The winner of the downhill race wins the cheese. / AFP / ADRIAN DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Chris Anderson (2nd L) gets ahead of his fellow competitors as they tumble down Cooper's Hill in pursuit of a round Double Gloucester cheese during the annual Cooper's Hill cheese rolling competition near the village of Brockworth, Gloucester, in western England, on May 30, 2016. The annual Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling involves competitors chasing an eight pound Double Gloucester cheese down a steep hill. The slope has a gradient in places of 1-in-2 and in others 1-in-1, its surface is very rough and uneven and it is almost impossible to remain on foot for the descent. The winner of the downhill race wins the cheese. / AFP / ADRIAN DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
The 'catchers' (R) prepare to stop a competitor as they come tumbling down the hill in pursuit of a round Double Gloucester cheese during the annual Cooper's Hill cheese rolling competition near the village of Brockworth, Gloucester, in western England, on May 30, 2016. The annual Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling involves competitors chasing an eight pound Double Gloucester cheese down a steep hill. The slope has a gradient in places of 1-in-2 and in others 1-in-1, its surface is very rough and uneven and it is almost impossible to remain on foot for the descent. The winner of the downhill race wins the cheese. / AFP / ADRIAN DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A competitor comes tumbling down the hill in pursuit of a round Double Gloucester cheese during the annual Cooper's Hill cheese rolling competition near the village of Brockworth, Gloucester, in western England, on May 30, 2016. The annual Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling involves competitors chasing an eight pound Double Gloucester cheese down a steep hill. The slope has a gradient in places of 1-in-2 and in others 1-in-1, its surface is very rough and uneven and it is almost impossible to remain on foot for the descent. The winner of the downhill race wins the cheese. / AFP / ADRIAN DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Chris Anderson poses for pictures with his prize cheeses after winning his second race during the annual Cooper's Hill cheese rolling competition near the village of Brockworth, Gloucester, in western England, on May 30, 2016. The annual Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling involves hordes of fearless competitors chasing an eight pound Double Gloucester cheese down a steep hill. The slope has a gradient in places of 1-in-2 and in others 1-in-1, its surface is very rough and uneven and it is almost impossible to remain on foot for the descent. The winner of the downhill race wins the cheese. / AFP / ADRIAN DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Competitors tumble down Coopers Hill in pursuit of a round Double Gloucester cheese during an annual cheese rolling competition near the village of Brockworth, Gloucester, in western England, on May 30, 2016. The annual Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling involves competitors chasing an eight pound Double Gloucester cheese down a steep hill. The slope has a gradient in places of 1-in-2 and in others 1-in-1, its surface is very rough and uneven and it is almost impossible to remain on foot for the descent. The winner of the downhill race wins the cheese. / AFP / ADRIAN DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Florence Early (L) goes head over heels on her way to winning the women's race ahead of her fellow competitors as they tumble down Coopers Hill in pursuit of a round Double Gloucester cheese during an annual cheese rolling competition near the village of Brockworth, Gloucester, in western England, on May 30, 2016. The annual Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling involves competitors chasing an eight pound Double Gloucester cheese down a steep hill. The slope has a gradient in places of 1-in-2 and in others 1-in-1, its surface is very rough and uneven and it is almost impossible to remain on foot for the descent. The winner of the downhill race wins the cheese. / AFP / ADRIAN DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
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This year's event was won by local competitor Chris Anderson, who is a specialist in the sport, securing his 17th cheese rolling title.

New competitors can be caught out by the severity of the 183-metre slope, which can send the unwary cartwheeling down the hill, breaking limbs.

The event nearly became a victim of health and safety concerns, and the perils of organising something that is inherently dangerous.

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The official organisers cancelled the competition in 2010, saying the contest had become too popular with spectators but die-hard local enthusiasts continued to hold the races by themselves.

The event is now held annually on an unofficial basis with prominent warnings that participants, and spectators, join in at their own risk.

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