Jim Nantz would like you to believe The Masters is “a tradition unlike any other,” and while it’s certainly a top candidate, it has some stiff competition in the form of another event that’s held on a hallowed tract of grass on an annual basis.
I am, of course, talking about what is officially known as the “Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake,” a yearly gathering near Gloucester, England that largely revolves around hundreds of people chasing a wheel of cheese down an imposingly steep incline.
No one is really sure how the cheese roll became A Thing in the first place.
However, it’s steeped in centuries of history and manages to draw thousands of spectators who assemble at Cooper’s Hill during the United Kingdom’s Spring Break Holiday to watch the foolhardy souls who scramble and tumble down the slope in search of bragging rights and the wheel of Double Gloucester cheese presented to the winner of each heat.
The rules are fairly straightforward: the cheese is released at the top of the hill one second before the field is allowed to follow suit in a quest to cross the finish line before anyone else.
The cheese-rolling race is akin to the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona in the sense the stakes are fairly low compared to the incredibly high risk of injury that comes with trying to make your way down the hill as quickly as possible (the cheese itself was replaced by a foam replica in 2013 thanks to incidents where onlookers needed first aid after being struck by a wheel that can reach speeds of 70 MPH).
Men and women have traditionally participated in separate races, and this year, the latter heat crowned a champion in the form of Delaney Irving, a 19-year-old Canadian.
That’s particularly impressive when you consider Global News reports Irving said she didn’t even remember crossing the finish line, as she was knocked unconscious after hitting her head but still managed to best the rest of the competition.
🧀 Canadian 🇨🇦 Delaney Irving won’t remember much of winning the Woman’s race at #cheeserolling.
After being knocked out on her way down, she was unconscious for a period of time but told us it was all worth it.
⚠️ WARNING: Contains graphic images pic.twitter.com/yxwk0YaGUE
— Greatest Hits Radio Gloucester (@GHRGloucester) May 29, 2023
Irving’s mother said Delaney was diagnosed with a concussion but appears to have avoided any serious injury, and while her daughter says she plans to return to defend her crown next year, her mom has pledged to accompany her to prevent her from trying to repeat based on what transpired.